KC Parks & Rec unveils first sculpture for ambitious Chouteau Fountain

KMBZ News Staff
March 07, 2019 - 6:16 am

Chouteau Heritage Fountain


Kansas City, MO - The Chouteau Heritage Fountain project took a big step forward with an unveiling of the sculptures that will adorn the installation on the west side of Chouteau Parkway, south of Interstate 35, and north of Parvin Road.

Much more than an enclosed system of pipes and motors, the fountain is a piece of art, and will be adorned with some art of its own, too. 

"The first of four bronze sculptures that are being created by local artist Kwan Wu, and they would be featured at the Chouteau Heritage Fountain," said Heidi Markle, with Kansas City Parks & Rec.

The fountain design features Francois Chouteau, the French fur trader who is considered the father of Kansas City.

He established a trading station on the banks of the Missouri River in 1821, the same year Missouri became a state.

The fountain's design shows Chouteau trading with a couple of native Americans.

The sculpture is depicted in heroic scale. The Chouteau piece is about eight feet tall.

Designing, installing, and maintaining a fountain is no small task, and it is not cheap. About $1.9 million in private money is being raised for the project.

In addition to the initial cost, each fountain has to have an endowment to cover ongoing repair, maintenance, and operation costs, Markle said. 

A long road is ahead before the water starts flowing through the Chouteau Heritage Fountain.

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