Legion fountain and Van Brunt icon

PC-american legion fountain.jpg

Northeast News
December 11, 2013

Originally designed as an ornate drinking fountain by noted Kansas City Sculptor Robert Merril Gage, the American Legion Fountain was a fixture at Ninth and Main streets for almost 40 years before being moved to Van Brunt Boulevard and Budd Park Esplanade in the heart of Historic Northeast Kansas City. The elegant limestone fountain consisted of a large, carved basin supporting an eight-foot tall square shaft, topped with eagles on each side. Bronze plaques bearing friezes of American Doughboys in action were inlaid on opposite sides of the shaft. Names of the American Legion Posts and those members who were sacrificed during World War I are carved in stone: “Dedicated by Kansas City to the American Legion Posts, October 31 – November, 1921. William T. Fitzsimmons, Murray Davis, William J. Bland, Joseph Dillon, Arthur Maloney, Sanford M. Brown Jr., James Cummins, Joseph Liebman, Hewitt Swearingen, Wayne Minor.”

The fountain’s location became a topic of controversy during the late 1950s, as pedestrians had to cross busy streets, often risking life and limb in order to fetch a sip or two of cold water. In 1959, the Parks Department moved the fountain to its present location. In 2002 the fountain was struck by an errant motorist, and it was carted off in pieces and stored for repairs. Finally, in May 2006, the American Legion Fountain was returned to public view, fully repaired and restored to its original splendor. Parks Department North Region Manager Michael Herron indicated that over $25,000 was spent on the work, which included masonry and plumbing.

This sepia-toned postcard showing the fountain at its original location was published by John Straley of Kansas City. Straley published a series of black and white postcards of a number of locations throughout Kansas City from his apartment at 213 N. Mersington Ave. here in Historic Northeast.

Comments are closed.

  • Day of thanks develops into national holiday over 240 years

    November 25th, 2015

    Northeast News What we celebrate as Thanksgiving is traditionally tied to a three-day feast involving the Pilgrims after their first harvest in 1621.

    Tunnel gave thrilling ride from downtown to West Bottoms

    November 18th, 2015

    Northeast News Standing in the glass foyer of the State Street Securities building at Eighth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and looking east along the Eighth Street corridor, it’s easy to

    Corner market did business on Ninth St.

    November 11th, 2015

    Northeast News Although there’s a vacant lot where Benedict L. Bredburg’s Metropolitan Grocery once stood, such “corner markets” were the rule rather than the exception in the fabric of communities

    Veterinary school thrives near turn of the century

    November 4th, 2015

    Northeast News What began in 1891 in two rented rooms in the Schutte Building near 11th

    Author Poe lives on through this postcard

    October 27th, 2015

    Northeast News This Halloween, we depart from our traditional Jack-O-Lantern or witching-style postcard and offer this literary postcard published by the Webb Freyschlag Company of Kansas City.

  • Kansas City’s first fire fighters honored in historic postcard

    October 20th, 2015

    Northeast News In March 1867, the Missouri Legislature granted permission to allow Kansas City to organize an official fire department.
    Later that year, an engine company was formed (McGee Hook and

    Sugar Creek’s original amusement park

    October 13th, 2015

    Northeast News Fairmont Park was developed in 1897 by early Kansas City railroad developer Arthur E.

    Kansas City’s first fire fighters honored

    October 6th, 2015

    Northeast News In March 1867, the Missouri Legislature granted permission to allow Kansas City to organize an official fire department.
    In August of that same year an engine company was formed

    Historic postcard offers glimpse of beautiful Penn Valley Park

    September 29th, 2015

    Northeast News The three-acre lake shown on the front of this black and white postcard was once part of an area of ramshackle shanties called Vinegar Hill and bordered OK

    School’s important part of Church’s history

    September 22nd, 2015

    Northeast News Established in 1890 as a school for girls, the Scarritt Bible and Training Institute was located at Harris (now Norledge) and Askew Avenues in Historic Northeast Kansas City.

  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Rep. John Rizzo to run for Missouri’s vacant 11th District Senate seat

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News Nov. 27, 2015 Kansas City, Missouri — Over the Thanksgiving holiday, John Rizzo, D-Kansas City, announced […]

    Urban Dirty rides in 2015

    Down and dirty along Cliff Drive. Last weekend, men, women and children of all ages took on a cycling course specifically designed to test their strength and stamina during the first

    Celebrate Whoville Holidays with the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — ‘Tis the season for holiday Who-spitality” at the City Market. Whos of all ages are invited to Whoville Holidays, an annual tradition at the City Market.