Greg Borzo - "Chicago’s Fabulous Fountains"

Monday, June 5, 2017 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Chicago is known for its lakefront and skyscrapers, da Bulls and da Bears, pizza and popcorn, but it should also be known for its more than 100 outdoor public fountains. These  beautiful fountains splish and splash in fun, artistic and surprising ways. Many of them have fascinating stories to tell. Who built these fountains and why? A lavishly illustrated PowerPoint presentation by Greg Borzo will take you on a virtual tour of Chicago's wet and wild side. Learn about these fountains' art and architecture, history and mystery. Fountains refresh, relax and inspire. Come see why!

Greg Borzo is a talented speaker and author of the popular book The Chicago 'L'  His fountain presentation will inform and entertain.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required)

About the book: Most people do not realize it, but Chicago is home to many diverse, artistic, fascinating, and architecturally and historically important fountains. In this attractive volume, Greg Borzo reveals more than one hundred outdoor public fountains of Chicago with noteworthy, amusing, or surprising stories about these gems. Complementing Borzo’s engagingly written text are around one hundred beautiful fine-art color photos of the fountains, taken by photographer Julia Thiel for this book, and a smaller number of historical photos.

Greg Borzo begins by providing an overview of Chicago’s fountains and discussing the oldest ones, explaining who built them and why, how they survived as long as they have, and what they tell us about early Chicago. At the heart of the book are four thematic chapters on drinking fountains, iconic fountains, plaza fountains, and park and parkway fountains. Among the iconic fountains described are Buckingham (in Grant Park), Crown (in Millennium Park), Centennial (with its water cannon shooting over the Chicago River), and two fountains designed by famed sculptor Lorado Taft (Time and Great Lakes). Plazas all around Chicago—in the neighborhoods as well as downtown—have fountains that anchor communities or enhance the skyscrapers they adorn. Also presented are the fountains in Chicago’s parks, some designed by renowned artists and many often overlooked or taken for granted. A chapter on the self-proclaimed City of Fountains, Kansas City, Missouri, shows how Chicago’s city planners could raise public awareness and funding for the care and preservation of these important landmarks. Also covered are a brief period of fountain building and rehabbing (1997–2002) that vastly enriched the city; fountains that no longer exist; and proposed Chicago fountains that were never built, as well as the future of fountain design.

A beautiful photography book and a guide to the city’s many fountains, Chicago’s Fabulous Fountains also provides fascinating histories and behind-the-scenes stories of these underappreciated artistic and architectural treasures of the Windy City.
About the author: An award-winning journalist, Greg Borzo worked at the Field Museum and now works at the University of Chicago. He has been a volunteer tour guide at the Chicago History Museum for more than 15 years. Greg gives talks and tours to share his enthusiasm for Chicago's myriad artistic, cultural and historical treasures. His books include Where to Bike Chicago, Best Biking in City and Suburbs; Chicago's Cable Cars; and The Chicago "L." His latest book, Chicago's Fabulous Fountains (Southern Illinois University Press, 2017), is a hardcover, coffee table book celebrating a little known but remarkable feature of the Windy City.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637