Behind the scenes at Chicago's iconic Buckingham Fountain

Posted August 28

— Buckingham Fountain is an iconic Chicago attraction known for nightly light-and-music shows. But it takes a team of engineers to keep things running.

The fountain sits in Grant Park along Lake Michigan. It opened in 1927 and is one of the largest fountains in the world. It's also a treasured selfie spot.

The Buckingham Fountain workers have an array of jobs, including cleaning bird feathers stuck to the grates that line the bottom of the fountain. They also put on waders to check for broken lights and monitor the pumps under the fountain.

Chicago Park District engineer Eric Kelmar says "it takes a lot of love and maintenance to keep it running."

Water shoots 150 feet in the air during the displays and 820 colored lights are added at night.


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