Move over Buckingham, the Harris Bank fountain deserves some attention too

May 27, 2010


(photo by Lee Bey)

 When you say "fountain" in Chicago, the Buckingham gets all the attention.

That's not unexpected, really. The Georgia pink marble beauty is one of the world's largest fountains and has been a civic treasure since its completion in 1927. The Crown Fountain at Millennium Park might come a close second in terms of notoriety. But look at the mod little mid-century fountain accompanying this post. Designed by Russell Secrest--a designer and sculptor whose cool, Danish Modern-like sculptures, cuff links and jewelry from the 1950s and 1960s still turns up for sale these days--the fountain sits on a plaza outside Harris Bank building downtown.

The fountain has been there since the 1970s, and I never really noticed it until now. I can't find much written about it, either. And to think, all this time, I thought clever commercials and‚  the "Hubert" doll were the only cool things Harris has given the public. Put the fountain on that list. It's at 111 W. Monroe.


(photo by Lee Bey)

 The fountain is a pretty nice sculpture when the water's turned off. It's made of bluish -green bronze and sits on a circular granite bass that is 22ft in diameter.