KANSAS CITY -- Work has begun to bring one of the area's most beloved fountains back to life. The seahorse fountain at Meyer Circle has been dry since the Royals won the World Series in 2015. A public-private partnership will make the bubbling waters flow again.
"Our main goal was to raise money to complete the construction phase but also endow the fountain so we don’t have to go through this again," said David Fowler, who led the private fundraising effort. "If something happens to the fountain down the road, we want this fountain permanently preserved for as long as possible."
More than 40,000 vehicles a day drive by the Meyer Circle fountain on Ward Parkway. And for many, the Italian marble structure puts a smile on their face.
But for nearly two years the fountain has remained empty.
Flooding in the pump room made it inoperable.
Now the city is moving forward to spend nearly a million dollars to repair and upgrade one of Kansas City's iconic landmarks.
An outpouring of private donations is helping share some of the costs, in hopes that the fountain will continue to bring joy to those who see it, for generations to come.
"I was very surprised and very pleased that the private sector stepped up and started raising money," said Parks Director Mark McHenry. "Some of the folks who have been raising money drive by it every day, some may live in that corridor. Some are coming from the Kansas side as well."
Citizens who are part of the Meyer Seahorse Fountain Advocates raised more than $600,000 in a true bi-state philanthropic campaign.
After paying for waterproofing and lighting upgrades, about $350,000 of the remaining private donations will be turned into an endowment to fund ongoing maintenance of the fountain in the future, so there's not another extended shutdown.
The fountain is expected to start spraying water again in September, when a ceremony is planned to thank all of the donors who are making sure Kansas City remains "The City of Fountains."