|The Fountain Garden behind the Visitors Center has long been a favorite spot for Cantigny guests. This will surely remain the case after Phase II renovations are completed in 2020.
Renowned landscape architect Franz Lipp created the Cantigny Gardens in the 1960s and 70s. His designs included a traditional bowl-style fountain surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowering plants. The intent was a serene and soothing outdoor space where visitors could sit and relax. The original fountain, completed in 1968, is pictured on the right.
Nearly 50 years of Chicagoland winters took a toll on the fountain’s hardscape and infrastructure. A full restoration was considered but ultimately ruled out due to cost. The park instead elected to design and build an all-new fountain, which debuted in 2009. The replacement fountain was more contemporary and “interactive” in design, with a flat surface and shooting water plumes (lower photo).
The second phase of Project New Leaf calls for a third generation Fountain Garden that closely recalls Lipp’s original showpiece. The rendering above shows the Visitors Center in the background and ample seating on the edge of the fountain and amid the surrounding landscape. As in the other renovated gardens, upgraded pathway surfaces will ease navigation for wheelchairs and strollers.