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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Almost There! Renovation Of Wicker Park’s Gurgoyle Fountain Will Be Complete Next Month

The 1800s-era fountain marks the “epicenter of the neighborhood," a Wicker Park neighborhood leader said.

The Gurgoyle Fountain was installed in Wicker Park in 1895. Today, a replica stands in its place.
Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago
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WICKER PARK — A summer-long renovation of the Gurgoyle Fountain in Wicker Park will end next month with a ribbon cutting ceremony during the Wicker Park Farmer’s Market.

The ribbon cutting and dedication will take place at noon Sept. 8. at the park, 1425 N. Damen Ave.

Speeches will be made by Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st), Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area No. 33 Chairman David Ginople and the Chicago Park District’s Wicker Park supervisor, Claribel Rodriguez.

RELATED: What’s Going On At Wicker Park’s Gurgoyle Fountain? A $67,000 Restoration

On Sept. 8, visitors to the park will notice the following improvements:

  • Removal of old paint and corrosion from Gurgoyle Fountain and its four cast iron urns
  • Repainting and resealing the fountain and urns to protect against future damage
  • Reconstruction of the top ornament on the fountain, which had broken over the years

In an April interview with Block Club, Ginople described the park as the “epicenter of the neighborhood.”

“It’s a very popular meeting spot,” he said. “The restoration of the fountain, in my mind, is more about legacy making. … As a commission, we felt that the preservation of the fountain was a good investment in the neighborhood’s future.” 

The original cast iron Gurgoyle Fountain was created and installed in 1895 by J.L. Motts Iron Works. It was given the name “Gurgoyle,” the Spanish variant of gargoyle, because that was in more popular use in 1895.

In 1908, the fountain was removed and a wading pool for children was installed in its place. A replica of the 1895 Gurgoyle Fountain was reinstalled in 2002 by Robinson Iron, cast from the original fountain molds.

The WPB SSA No. 33, a special taxing district, partnered with Chicago Park District preservation architect Michael Fus to repaint, repair and reconstruct the fountain.

The group gave a $67,000 grant to the Conservation of Sculpture & Objects Studio to complete the work.

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