Taste & See KC: J. C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

Posted at 11:50 AM, May 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-29 12:51:15-04

The J. C. Nichols Memorial Fountain is one of the most photographed fountains in Kansas City.

It wasn’t always at the east corner of the Country Club Plaza.

Henri Greber sculpted the figures for the fountain in 1910. The fountain was originally at the mansion of Clarence Mackay in Long Island, New York, according to KC Parks.

The Nichols family, the city and private contributions worked to purchase and install the fountain in Kansas City.

KC Parks said the fountain was brought to KC in 1951. It was then refurbished and dedicated in 1960.

When the fountain was brought to Kansas City, one of the so-called dolphin sculptures was missing. Miller Nichols had a local artist recreate a sculpture similar to the one that was missing.

The whereabouts of the missing piece were unknown until 2008. A Florida man realized a sculpture in his parents’ yard was the missing piece. His parents had bought the sculpture from the New York estate in 1947.

The man contacted KC Parks, which bought the sculpture. The sculpture wouldn’t be reunited with the rest of the fountain until 2015.

In December 2014, the sculptures around the fountain were removed for their first major renovation in 50 years.

In March 2015, the sculptures were put back onto the fountain along with the once missing dolphin sculpture.

The replica dolphin now sits on a concrete base near the fountain.