VIDEO: Go behind the scenes at Buckingham Fountain

Built in 1927, the Buckingham is one of the oldest of Chicago’s lakefront landmarks. How does something that old still work? I was curious, so the Park District invited me to come take a look.

Buckingham Fountain fun facts

  • The fountain represents Lake Michigan, and each of the
    four sea horses, created by the French sculptor Marcel F.
    Loyau, represents a state bordering the lake (Illinois,
    Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin).
  • The fountain was modeled after the Latona Fountain at the
    palace of Versailles in France.
  • During the main display, in which water plumes 150 feet into
    the air, the fountain cycles through 15,000 gallons of water per
  • Buckingham Fountain was the official starting point of U.S.
    Route 66, the famous highway of 60’s lore.
  • The fountain features prominently in the opening sequence of
    “Married…with Children.”

You can get your own behind-the-scenes tour on Fridays this summer. The cost is $50/person, and the money goes toward the fountain’s ongoing renovation campaign. Tours start this Friday, June 4, and run through Aug. 27. You can find more information at the Park District website.

Liz Hoffman is the web editor at Chicago Parent.

Contact Liz at

See more of Liz’s stories here.

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