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The Historic Fountain Restored

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - Sunday, August 7, 2022

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 12:00 am, repeating until Wednesday, August 4, 2021


Photo Courtesy of The Chicago Park District Historic Archives

Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area #33 (WPB SSA#33) Funds Wicker Park’s Gurgoyle Fountain Restoration

TIME LINE – April 2, 2019 – Late August 2019 – Rust Removal, Laser Treatment, Repaint, Reseal to Preserve Fountain

UPDATE – RIBBON CUTTING was held on Sunday, September 8 at Noon – READ Details

Wicker Park’s iconic Gurgoyle Fountain was restored in 2019 with a $67,000 grant from Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area #33 (WPB SSA #33), the neighborhood’s business improvement district. The SSA commissioned the Conservation of Sculpture & Objects Studio (CSOS) to complete this project, which included the removal of old paint and corrosion from Gurgoyle Fountain and its four cast iron urns, repainting and resealing to protect against future damage, and reconstruction of the top ornament on the fountain.  

In addition, 1st Ward Alderman Daniel LaSpata funded an additional $9,000 of this project using his Menu Money Funds.

***READ ABOUT CSOS’ TECHNIQUE Used to Renovate the Fountain

Dr. Andrzej Dajnowski and Bartosz Dajnowski, CSOS founders, have employed the Nd:YAG laser technique to restore many historic sculptures around the city and the world including Chicago’s Bowman bronze sculpture on Michigan Avenue and laser cleaning the Jefferson Memorial. CSOS is the first private company in the USA to utilize laser cleaning technology for large scale conservation projects.  With their custom designed and custom built laser systems, CSOS  offers  environmentally friendly and chemical free cleaning of metals, stone, glass, wood, and other substrates with unmatched precision.


“Our namesake park has been a place for residents and visitors to come together for over a century,” says WPB SSA #33 Commission Chair David James Ginople. “Restoring Gurgoyle Fountain helps maintain the vitality of our commercial district, as well as preserving an important historic landmark. We’re proud to support this project for the benefit of the entire neighborhood.”


HISTORY: The original cast iron Gurgoyle Fountain was created and installed in 1895 by J.L. Motts Iron Works. 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.


“Numerous historic photos dating from 1895 show that the fountain court was the center of activity and a meeting place for people from the neighborhood and from all over the city,” says Doug Wood, the coordinator of events, fundraising, promotions and special initiatives for Wicker Park Advisory Council. “I’ve worked as volunteer in the park almost daily since 2002. Gurgoyle Fountain has again become a neighborhood symbol of life, change, creative inspiration and accomplishment, and positive growth. With the support of WPB SSA #33, the fountain will continue to be the center of our community.”


WPB SSA#33 Long Term Partner of Park: In 2007, WPB SSA #33 partnered with the Wicker Park Advisory Council (WPAC) to fund the purchase of eight white urns that mark the four entrances to the fountain court. In addition, WPAC raised the funds for 12 historic benches that encircle the fountain court.


LONG TERM PRESERVATION: Moving forward, WPAC will work with WPB SSA #33, the Chicago Park District and elected city officials to establish and obtain funding for an annual maintenance plan for Gurgoyle Fountain. Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area #33, one of more than 50 business improvement districts in the City of Chicago, is administered by the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce and led by a volunteer Commission of SSA taxpayers approved by Aldermen in the 1st Ward, 2nd Ward and 32nd Ward. From community grants, festival support and public art to street cleaning, landscaping and neighborhood ambassador programs, WPB SSA #33 contributes to the economic development and vitality of the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. For more information, visit www.wickerparkbucktown.org

TEXT BY –  Press Contact: Elizabeth Neukirch The Silverman Group, Inc. 312.932.9950 elizabeth@silvermangroupchicago.com

WITH Additional Materials Provided by Douglas Wood CHICAGO (April 5, 2019)

HISTORIC INFORMATION FROM: Elaine Coorens’ Wicker Park from 1673 Thru 1929 and Walking Tour Guide

ARTICLE ABOUT LASER TECHNIQUE: A. Dajnowski, B. Dajnowski, “A case study in the removal of paint and corrosion from cast iron using a Nd:YAG laser”, in: Lasers in the Conservation of Art­works IX (Proceedings of the International Conference on LACONA IX), London, United Kingdom, 07 – 10 September 2011, D. Saunders, M. Strlič, C. Korenberg, N. Luxford, K. Birkhölzer (Eds.), Archetype Publica­tions, London 2013, pp. 40 – 44.




Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Sunday, August 7, 2022
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Wicker Park
1425 N. Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
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Wicker Park Field House
1425 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

1425 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Hours of Operation
Mon-Fri: 9am-6:45pm
Sat: 10am-2pm
Sun: Closed
Hours may change – Verify at (312) 742-7553

Park Supervisor
Keith Jones