Last Friday, we celebrated the groundbreaking of the Francois Chouteau & Native American Heritage Fountain. The event began with a ground blessing given by a tribal member of the Osage Nation. A Francois Chouteau reenactor, the sculptor Kwan Wu, public officials and Native Americans in their regalia contributed to the success of the celebration.
The Chouteau Fountain Founders wanted to honor the founder of Kansas City, Francois Chouteau and the Native Americans who lived and traded in the area by creating and installing a work of art. Their efforts have been supported by Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department, City of Fountains Foundation, and countless donors.
The Chouteau Heritage Fountain adds a new signature art piece to the Northland. Inspired by the bluff where Rock Creek joins the Missouri River, it depicts trade between Francois Chouteau and Native Americans. Chouteau and the Osage Tribe are conducting trade on the bluff, while downstream, a Kansa hunter is pursuing beavers along the river’s edge. The sculptures that will be installed are being created by Kwan Wu.
Landworks Studio designed the features that will elevate the visitor experience. A river is represented by a colored and textured concrete river bottom with fountain misters that simulate an early morning fog. The river flows under a sculpted bridge above a reflecting pool. Rock Creek joins the river as an eight-foot-high, naturally designed, cascading waterfall adjacent to the feature bluff.
The new landmark will offer a number of engaging elements. Stepping stones create an interactive crossing that leads to a plaza space. There, visitors will see a sculpted trading post enhanced with stone carvings and inscriptions, as well as informational signage. Native plantings are used throughout to support the natural setting.
The Chouteau Native American Fountain will be located on the west side of Chouteau Parkway just south of Russell Road. Phase I is starting immediately. To view a video produced by Landworks Studio, visit this link.