First Fountain North of the Missouri River
The Northland Fountain was the first fountain that was constructed north of the Missouri River. A direct result of the efforts of the community and the private sector to bring fountains to this area.
Land was purchased in 1980 in the form of parkland; 8 acres to be used to create Northgate Park. Part of the land was donated through the Baptist Theological Seminary, whose condition was that a fountain needs to be built there. A hill located near the North Oak Traffic way and Vivion Road would be the site of the fountain. Plans to design and build the fountain thus began.
The city did not have funds available to create a fountain, so a large grassroots effort to raise the money began. School children, churches, and local businesses took part in raising the need $250,000 to build the fountain. The combined effort of the community led to the naming of the fountain: the Spirit of Cooperation. Donations varied from pennies given by children to thousands of dollars donating through businesses.
Two individuals were credited with the spearheading of the effort. Charles Garney, an area developer, and Anita Gorman, a civic activist were the leaders of this project. The park, would later, be named after Anita Gorman, as a tribute to her efforts to improve the area, and create the park!
The developers decided that a year round fountain would create a unique Kansas City Fountain. Since Kansas City has so many fountains, the new trend in fountain creation was to create water features that are more modern and original. The Northland community sought to create a fountain that would stand out among the many fountains. The Hydrel Company in California was chosen to create a year round fountain that would run even through the coldest winters!
The fountain features an 80-foot diameter reflecting pool with multiple jets. The central jet send water thirty feet into the air, where it them turns into a fine mist. An outer ring of jets surround the fountain and shoot outwards, while the inner circle of jets shoots inwards.
Because this fountain is a year round feature, the winter months create beautiful views. As temperatures drop below freezing, organic and exciting ice sculptures form, grow, and change. This site is one of the most popular and noted fountain in Kansas City.