CHICAGO (CBS) — A Wicker Park neighborhood landmark was rededicated Sunday after undergoing a major renovation.
The iconic Gurgoyle Fountain, in the park of Wicker Park at 1425 N. Damen Ave., has been restored to its original glory.
Community leaders and neighbors attended a ribbon-cutting Sunday to mark the completion of the $67,000 renovation. The ceremony was held during the Wicker Park Farmers Market.
“We did everything from rust removal to painting the urns and the fountain itself. We rebuilt the calla lily sculpture at the top, concrete work, and so much more,” said Rebecca Dohe of the Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area.
The restoration project began in April. The Gurgoyle Fountain was previously restored in 2007.
The original Gurgoyle Fountain was installed by J.L. Motts Ironworks in 1895, according to the Chicago Park District. The two-tiered fountain was bedecked in foliage motifs and small gargoyle faces that spit water. “Gurgoyle” is variant of the word “gargoyle.”
That fountain only lasted until 1908, when West Park System Supt. Jens Jensen ordered it removed to make way for a children’s wading pool with a jet spray, the Park District said.
At the turn of the 21st century, community members became more and more interested in the history of the park, and in 2001 the Park District had a replica of the fountain cast by Robinson Iron – a successor company to J.L. Motts – using the original fountain molds.
The new fountain was dedicated on May 11, 2002. As quoted by the Public Building Commission, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley said at the time: “This fountain is more than a pleasant little addition to the neighborhood. It is a symbol of what is happening in the Wicker Park neighborhood.”