American Legion #1 Fountain

The American Legion fountain is a pedestal fountain dating back to 1921. It was first dedicated at 9th & Main Streets but later moved to Van Brunt Boulevard and Budd Park Esplanade in 1958 when the city began a redevelopment project. Unfortunately, the pipes supplying the spigots on both sides of the shaft burst during its first winter in Kansas City and were permanently turned off.

With a circular base foundation, a saucer receptacle, and a rectangular shaft that rises to six feet, it’s a stately fixture in the neighborhood. Its east panel measures 40″ x 18-1/2″ with two full male figures carrying naval munitions. The front figure holds an artillery shell while facing left while the second figure holds a wrench in his right hand looking with a three-quarter view. The front figure wears bell-bottom dungarees and 13 buttons. Carved into the corners at the summit are four eagles while two bronze plaques portray soldiers on one side and sailors on the other. Three figures, heads turned left, the front figure holds right arm aloft with a grenade in the right hand. The center figure holds a rifle with the right arm. Artist and Topeka, Kansas native, Robert Merrel Gage, became a Professor of Sculpture at the University of Southern California.


One lists the local American Legion posts, and the other bears a quotation from Teddy Roosevelt: “All daring and courage, all iron, endurance or misfortune, all devotion to the ideal of honor and glory of the flag make for a finer and nobler type of human hood.”


Country Club Plaza, 320 Nichols Road, Kansas City, MO


S. Gemignani, Cast by Marinelli Studios


Dedicated July 1962


Country Club Plaza KC Partners LLC