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Fountain of Time, Chicago

#540 of 605 in Things to do in Chicago
Fountain · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Fountain of Time, or simply Time, is a sculpture by Lorado Taft, measuring 126 feet 10 inches (38.66 m) in length, situated at the western edge of the Midway Plaisance within Washington Park in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. This location is in the Washington Park community area on Chicago's South Side. Inspired by Henry Austin Dobson's poem "Paradox of Time", and with its 100 figures passing before Father Time, the work was created as a monument to the first 100 years of peace between the United States and the United Kingdom, resulting from the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. Although the fountain's water began running in 1920, the sculpture was not dedicated to the city until 1922. The sculpture is a contributing structure to the Washington Park United States Registered Historic District, which is a National Register of Historic Places listing.

Part of a larger beautification plan for the Midway Plaisance, Time was constructed from a new type of molded, steel-reinforced concrete that was claimed to be more durable and cheaper than alternatives. It was said to be the first of any kind of finished work of art made of concrete. Before the completion of Millennium Park in 2004, it was considered the most important installation in the Chicago Park District. Time is one of several Chicago works of art funded by Benjamin Ferguson's trust fund.

Time has undergone several restorations because of deterioration and decline caused by natural and urban elements. During the late 1990s and the first few years of the 21st century it underwent repairs that corrected many of the problems caused by these earlier restorations. Although extensive renovation of the sculpture was completed as recently as 2005, the supporters of Time continue to seek resources for additional lighting, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation has nominated it for further funding.

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  • Located in Chicago's Washington Park, at 5900 South Cottage Grove Avenue, at the west end of the University of Chicago's Midway Plaisance, on a 367-acre expanse designed by Frederick Law Olmstead...  more »
  • An amazing 126 feet (38.66 m) of sculpture by Lorado Taft that is well worth the trek to the western edge of the Midway Plaisance, that stretch of green from Jackson Park to Washington Park. The...  more »
  • I grew up by the fountain I used to play in the fountain as a kid love to place
  • A good spot to stop of and check out when in the park at one of the festivals

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