Chicago Landmarks

Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain and Garden

Fountain with skyline backdrop     Address: Bounded by Lake Shore, Balbo, Columbus and Jackson drives
Year Built: 1927
Architect: Bennett, Parson & Frost , Jacques Lambert
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: August 30, 2000

Memorial garden Funded by philanthropist Kate Buckingham in memory of her brother, Buckingham Fountain is one of the nation's finest fountains and a public icon of Chicago. It is the centerpiece of Grant Park, the city's grand "front yard," and is set within a handsomely landscaped garden, one of the city's finest examples of a Beaux-Arts-style landscape design.

The fountain is distinguished not only for its exquisite decorative details and finely wrought bronze sculpture, but also for its innovative use of technology which creates a dynamic light and water display on a massive scale. It is the work of architect-planner Edward H. Bennett, a significant figure in the creation and execution of the 1909 Plan of Chicago, which encouraged the creation of lakefront amenities such as the fountain.

His other works include the Michigan Avenue Bridge, Wacker Drive, and city plans for Detroit, Portland, Ore., Brooklyn, and Ottawa.