Obscura Society IL: Buckingham Fountain Underground Pump Room Tour - Atlas Obscura
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Obscura Society IL: Buckingham Fountain Underground Pump Room Tour

Have you ever wondered what it looks like beneath Buckingham Fountain?

In celebration of Atlas Obscura's Underwater Week, Illinois mischief makers invite you on a rare opportunity to learn more about one of the city’s most iconic monuments.

Presented by Chicago Park Historian Julia Bachrach, this hour-long tour presents insights into the amazing gift that philanthropist Kate Sturges Buckingham gave to the citizens of Chicago in 1927. Designed by Edward H. Bennett and dedicated to Kate’s brother Clarence Buckingham, the monument was considered the “largest decorative fountain in the world” when it was first dedicated in Grant Park. The fountain, which continues to provide impressive hourly displays, recirculates as much as 1.5 million gallons of water per minute. Today, the Buckingham Fountain is operated by a computer, but historically it was run manually but Chicago Park District engineers. Our tour features the control room, which still retains is historic bronze levers, and also allows participants a rare glimpse of the pumps that make the water displays possible.

Adventure Notes

Two Tours: 11:30 am & 12:30 pm 

This event will run rain or shine.

Are there age limits for the tour? Nope, this tour is family friendly--but parents have to keep on eye on their kids!

Where do we meet? Please meet agent to check in for the tour on the east side of the fountain. 

Is this ADA accessible? Limited access.

Is my ticket refundable? No. Sorry kids, no money back on this purchase but you can transfer it to another event by following this handy Eventbrite tutorial.

This event is hosted by Atlas Obscura Field Agent Amy Weber. She is a dedicated national and international traveler. She enjoys the challenge of getting on a plane and letting life just happen. With over 15 solo tours under her belt she knows the joys of exploration and finding that something extra that makes the experience spectacular. Being grown up she now is limited to two weeks of vacation so exploration around her backyards is her jam.

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