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Buckingham Fountain

Chicago's Buckingham Fountain is a top tourist visitor attraction and spectacular sight to see.  Local residents enjoy this great landmark daily on the commute to work along the lakefront.  The fountain is located at Columbus Drive and Congress Parkway in Grant Park. 


Originally the fountain was dedicated to Chicago by philanthropist Kate Buckinham in honor of her brother.  In 1994 the Art Institute of Chicago ran a $2.8 million dollar restoration resulting in the current water and light display.  The design was influenced by the Latona Basin in Louis XIV's garden at Versailles and created by Edward H. Bennett.  Four seahorses are located in the outer pool of water at the base symbolizing the four states touching Lake Michigan: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan & Wisconsin. 



One of the most fascinating thigns about the fountain is the major water display from the center jet shooting 150 ft. in the air every hour on the hour for twenty minutes.  During the evening the water display is accompanied by a spectacular light show and music.  The 820 lights contained in the fountain are run by a giant computer known as the Honeywell Excel-Plus located in the fountain's pumping house. 


Fountain Facts:

  • Originally opened May 26, 1927
  • Open from 8am - 11pm daily
  • Operates from mid April - October
  • Major water display every hour on the hour
  • Night light and music show
  • Fountain contains 134 water jets
  • Total water capacity of 1.5 million gallons
  • 820 lights
  • Fountain restored in 1994


Buckingham Fountain is managed by the Chicago Park District. 

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