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J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain Things to do in Kansas City

J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

This fountain is the best-known and most-photographed of all of the Kansas City’s fountains. The fountain was created in Paris by sculptor Henri Greber in 1910 and adorned the mansion of Clarence Mackay in the gardens of his estate called "Harbor Hill" in Long Island, NY. The four large, cast bronze equestrian figures reportedly represent four mighty rivers of the world: the Rhine, the Seine, the Volga and the Mississippi. A large fire occurred in 1938, destroying the estate, and at some point the figures on the fountain were also vandalized. The figures were sold in 1951 for salvage. The Nichols family brought those figures to Kansas City.

The Nichols family initiated the purchase and installation which was funded by the family, the city and private contributions. It was brought to Kansas City in 1951 and refurbished by Herman Frederick Simon and dedicated in 1960. The family had begun plans for the memorial, but it would not be until 1957 that the Parks Department donated the land, sidewalks, and landscaping. The fountain was installed at the Country Club Plaza, made famous by Nichols, and was dedicated in1960 as the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain.

The J. C. Nichols Memorial Fountain has four heroic horsemen which are said to represent mighty four rivers of the world: the Mississippi River (fending off an alligator), the Volga River (with the bear), the Seine and the Rhine.

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