One of Kansas City’s older fountains, the Seahorse Fountain, also known as the Meyer Circle Fountain, is also one of the most well known fountains in the city. It sits on the busy intersection of Meter Boulevard and Ward Parkway.
This fountain was developed by J.C. Nichols, a developer who had a large contribution to the growth of Kansas City. He donated the funding for the fountain, as well as a large part in the construction.
The center sculpture of the fountain was found in Venice Italy by Nichols. It had stood there for over 300 years. After purchasing the sculpture, Nichols had it shipped back to Kansas City. It was a passion of Nichols to bring back sculpture and art from Europe to Kansas City. Edward Buehler Delk undertook the task of incorporating the sculpture into the fountain design. Delk, an architect, was trained in Greek and Roman architecture, having worked with the J.C. Nichols company, as well as working with Frank Llloyd Wright on two buildings in Kansas city. His influence is seen in many buildings throughout the city.
This project was completed in 1925, and named the Seahorse Fountain. This fountain features a two tiered bowl, held up by three cherubs, a dolphin, and the three seahorses creating the fountains name. The figures sit on a larger limestone base inside the larger basin. A child and dolphin create the fountains finial, crafted from Italian marble. This fountain is 16 feet high.
This fountain has been susceptible to vandalism many times over the years, as well as a severe car crash. In 1994, a large renovation project was performed on the fountain. The figures holding up the bowls were found to be in very bad condition, and were recast in sandstone. The fountain was vandalized in 2000, when the child on top of the fountain was broken off. A St. Lois craftsman restored the child, at no charge, creating a donation worth about $100,000.
Even through all the damage and vandalism the fountain has experience, it remains a wonderful and favorite landscape in the residential area of the city. The heavy Roman influence makes it one of the most elaborate fountains in the city. This fountain creates a mythical effect, and adds sheer beauty to the city.