Centennial Fountain

Centennial Fountain

If you are looking for somewhere over the rainbow in Chicago, walk along the Riverwalk toward the Lake Shore Drive Bridge.  Centennial Fountain is located on the north side of the river.  Dedicated in 1989, the fountain commemerates the 100th anniversary of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.  During the summer, a water cannon at the base of the fountain shoots an 90-foot arc of water eight stories into the air across the Chicago River, stopping river traffic for five minutes on the hour from 10AM to 4PM.  After a one-hour respite, the cannon starts up again, shooting the arc until 12:00AM.  The fountain was designed by Lohan Associates, and was built by Blinderman Construction Company at a cost of $3.65 million.  

Despite its name, the Water Reclamation District is a creature of state rather than city government.  It was chartered in 1889, and was originally named the Sanitary District of Chicago.  Its main function is to treat wastewater. 

The fountain also carries the name of Nicholas J. Melas, who was first elected to the district in 1962.  He served as a member for 30 years, including as president during the last 18 years of his  five-term tenure.

If it is a sunny day, there usually is a rainbow in mid afternoon that is visible when standing west of the arc.  Today there was a double rainbow. 

The Navy Pier Ferris wheel is visible in the background, as is the massive draw bridge that holds eight lanes of Lake Shore Drive traffic.

A Barge Used to Launch Fireworks Heads to Navy Pier for the Evening's Festivities

River Roast Window

River Roast Window

Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago