In Celebration of the Children of Kansas City
The Children’s Fountain is one of the newest and largest fountains located in Kansas City. Rome is the only city with more fountains that Kansas City! Kansas City was designed to have as many fountains as Rome, and as many boulevards as Paris. The city continues with this idea to this day.
An outdoor fountain designed to celebrate the children of Kansas City was developed in the early nineties. The fountain was to be located at a park north of the Missouri river, The Anita Gorman Park, named for the first female president of the Board of Parks and Recreation. The land for the fountain is a triangular shape, visible from both the east and west roads.
Tom Corbin was responsible for the six sculptures of children in this fountain. Corbin is also responsible for many of the brass sculptures located in many other Kansas City fountains.
Kansas City area children were used as model for the brass sculptures. The sculptures would appear on pedestals that descended in height in the fountain. Joy is the first sculpture, shown frolicking in the highest pedestal. A boy with crutches is on the second pedestal, titled Meeting Challenges. The third pedestal features a ballerina in a pose. The fourth pedestal is a boy playing soccer. The fifth pedestal is a boy standing on his head. The sixth and final pedestal is a young girl, with pigtails, wading into the pool.
The pool in which the sculptures were placed is 100 feet long by 60 feet wide. The design of the fountain was to make it visible from cars on the road. Each fountain is placed so that water from the jets sprays down over them. Bubbling streams of water adds to the playful nature of the fountain; a childlike mood encompasses the entire area. The plaza surrounding the fountain features bricks with the names of the donors to the fountain.
This fountain cost a total of 1.7 million dollars, and pumps 8,000 gallons of water per minute. Larkin Engineers provided the engineering for the fountain, even engineering it to flow during the freezing winter months.
This “Fountain of Youth” as it has been referred to, is a testament to the commitment to the children of the city. This fountain was dedicated in 1995 and remains a popular visiting place.