David Wallach Memorial Fountain – Chicago, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

Chicago, Illinois

David Wallach Memorial Fountain

A 19th-century horse lover's bequest led to the construction of this unique fountain in Chicago.  

Visitors to Chicago’s lakefront, human or otherwise, can thank David Wallach for this unique drinking fountain.

Wallach, who owned a successful photographic supply business, enjoyed horseback riding along the lakefront. When he died in 1894, he left $5,000 in his will for the construction of a fountain “for man and beast.”

The fountain was not built until 1939, by which time horses along the lakefront were no longer a common sight.  However, the fountain includes a pool at its base, which is a popular drinking spot for local dogs (and sometimes birds). It also has drinking fountains for children and adults.

The fountain was built by the husband and wife team of Frederick and Elizabeth Hibbard. The Hibbards had studied under famous Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft, whose “Fountain of Time” is located two miles west in Washington Park.

The fawn sculpture atop the fountain was stolen in 1981 and recovered from a West Side warehouse after an anonymous tip to Alderman Larry Bloom.

Know Before You Go

Fun fact: Promontory Point, where the fountain is located, was the location of the 2013 wedding of Star Wars creator George Lucas and Mellody Hobson.

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