Today the Chicago Park District turns on the Buckingham Fountain for its 86th season.  The fountain will run from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily into mid-October.  The opening ceremony kicks off at 11 a.m. with Sears Holdings and Kmart donating to the Park District and to the March of Dimes fundraising program.

Although, the Buckingham Fountain is intrinsically apart of Chicago architectural landscape, many may not know the history of this landmark.  The fountain is a memorial to Clarence Buckingham; he was the director of the Art Institute and a local businessmen.  After he died in 1913, his sister, Kate Buckingham donated the fountain to the city in memory of her brother.  Construction of the fountain cost $750,000 and was officially dedicated on August 26, 1927. The Latona Fountain in Versailles inspired the design of the Buckingham.  The fountain is constructed of Georgia pink marble and contains 1,5000,0000 U.S. gallons of water.  Needless to say, the Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world.