6.01.2012

THE CITY OF FOUNTAINS

Kansas City, Missouri is nicknamed The City of Fountains.  And it is...there are over 168 fountains located through the city.  

When we traveled to Kansas City to visit the previously mentioned art exhibition: Manet to Matisse: Impressionist Masters from the Marion and Henry Bloch Collection at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, we stayed at the Hampton Inn located in the area of Kansas City known as the Country Club Plaza area.  This area, just a few blocks west of the museum, is located between 45th Street and 51st Street to the north and south and Broadway and Madison to the east and west (see map).  It has a myriad of upscale shopping and dining possibilities.  The architecture is based on the Moorish style of Seville, Spain (one of the city's sister cities) with buildings decorated with arches and beautiful mosaic tiles.

Some of the beautiful architecture...





































And the colorful tiles decorating the buildings...























We walked from the hotel down West 47th Street to the museum. (In hindsight this wasn't such a great idea since it was mid-August with temperatures in the mid 90s.)  But our walk allowed us to see many of the city's beautiful fountains:























Located on 47th Street in front of the American Eagle Outfitters store, the fountain above shows Neptune in his chariot pulled by the trident, dolphin and sea horse.  A city favorite, the 1911 original lead cast was purchased just for its scrap metal.  In the 1950s, it was found on top of a train car full of scrap metal by workmen at a salvage company.

























One block east on 47th Street located in front of the Cheesecake Factory is this fountain showing the Greek god Bacchus holding court, surrounded by nymphs and satyrs.  Another 1911 original lead statue, weighing 5 tons, it was purchased in England and installed in 1969 in its present location.






































Just one block further east on the opposite side of 47th Street is the beautifully-designed Seville Light fountain.  Carved from several types of marble, this fountain is an exact replica of the Plaza de Los Reyes fountain in Seville, Spain.


Located just across the street from the Seville Light fountain is the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain, the most-popular and most-photographed of all the city's fountains.  The 1910 figures originally adorned a mansion on Long Island, New York.  In 1958 they were brought to Kansas City.  The four horsemen are said to represent the four major rivers: Mississippi River (the Indian riding the horse and beating off an alligator), the Volga River (with the bear), the Seine and the Rhine.  Over the years several figures have been stolen. J. C. Nichols was a prominent developer of commercial and residential real estate in Kansas City.




























Located in a plaza located at the corner of Broadway and Ward Parkway is a statue of Pomona, the Roman goddess and protector of vineyards and orchards.  This fountain was imported from Italy and installed in 1969. 

For more information on the many other fountains in Kansas City you can visit the website: www.kcfountains.com.



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