History of Kansas City's Fountains and the Foundation's Role

For more than 100 years, symbolic equestrian figures, Roman gods, sea horses and and myriad other bronze and stone figures have graced Kansas City’s fountains.

The push to design fountains in Kansas City was sparked by George Kessler, a landscape architect and urban planner during the “City Beautiful” movement of the 1890s. Kessler designed the city’s first fountain at 15th Street and The Paseo in 1898. Although it was destroyed in 1941, he created a second fountain that was completed in 1899. Located at Ninth Street & The Paseo, The Women’s Leadership Fountain is Kansas City’s oldest working fountain. It bears the names of 13 women who made notable contributions to the community.

Today, Kansas City has about 40 operating, publicly owned fountains, and there are scores of others in suburban cities, in private developments — like the Country Club Plaza — and in neighborhoods.

The City of Fountains Foundation (COFF) — a (501)(c)(3) nonprofit — works with the city’s Parks & Recreation Department to insure ongoing funding and maintenance for the city’s fountains, monuments and sculptures. The foundation has more than $4 million in about 40 separate, income-generating endowment accounts, and it taps those accounts as needed for specific projects.

Our Fountains Through the Years

Meyer Boulevard Fountain

These iconic fountains need your support.