"Crown Fountain in Millennium Park: Interactive Art" Top 5 Page for this destination Millennium Park - Crown Fountain Tip by deecat

  Crown Fountain in Millennium Park
by deecat
 
 

It's a joy to behold...children romping in the water and laughing with delight; adults in awe, pointing to the fountains and then the children.

Designed by Spanish sculptor, Jaume Plensa, the Crown Fountain is actually twin towers of glass screens with changing images and cascading water. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago recruited volunteers from some 100 cultural groups and age groups ranging from 7-80 years old that are supposed to represent a cross section of Chicago. These faces are randomly displayed on the screen for about seven minutes, and, during the final minute, the face puckers its lips and water is released from a spout! I think they look like "Human Gargoles" that are found on ancient fountains...how cool is that? The faces fade and then close-ups of natural phenomena (nature scenes) will eventually appear between human images.
Supposedly, the fountain towers face each other to symbolize communication between the two.
The towers are each 50 feet high and face each other across a reflecting pool that is about 230 feel long. The entire plaze is covered with black granite from Africa. Later, timber benches are to be installed. All of this is to be framed by trees and plantings.

Water is pumped up from an underground reservoir and sent to tubs that release the water over all four sides of the towers. There is a LED screen behind the glass brick exterior that projects the images.
Plensa says, "We need an anonymous person living in the city. That is the real 'god-ness' today."

This project was financed by the Crown family foundation to maintain the piece and its underground computerized control center for 30 years. Both the Crown family of Chicago and the Goodman family of Chicago gave ten million dollars each.

Don't go to see the Crown Fountain unless you are willing to get somewhat wet. To photograph the events, you need to move in, and, like the joyous children, the water will be under your feet, and the spray will cover you too.

Address: Millennium Park, Chicago
Directions: Southwest corner of the park (Michigan Avenue and Monroe Drive)

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 3, 2007
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