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Centennial Fountain & Water Arc

Outdoor Free
Monuments, Touristy
300 N McClurg Ct, Chicago, IL

Activity Overview

The Nicholas J. Melas Centennial Fountain and Water Arc can be found on the North Bank of the Chicago River at McClurg Court, near the Sheraton. It was completed in 1989 and dedicated to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago mainly to commemorate their achievement of reversing the flow of the Chicago River in 1900.

Things to Do

  • Make sure you catch the fountain on the hour. At the change of every hour the fountain shoots an impressive arc of water out across the river for a full ten minutes. Sometimes this arc can go off when there is a boat passing underneath saoking the passengers which makes for entertaining viewing!
  • At night a light illuminates the arc and fountain. With the backdrop of the city's nightime lights it makes for an excellent photo opportunity.

Centennial Fountain & Water Arc Insider Tips

  • The Centennial Fountain is not one of the more popular Chicago tourist attractions so it can be a refreshing break from the crowds especially during the summer.
  • The Fountain makes a good spot to stop and appreciate the beauty of Chicago's riverside architecture.
  • One fun way to see the fountain is as part of a boat tour. There are many boat tours available along the Chicago River with some of the most popular being the Architectural Boat Tours which give information from knowledgable guides on the Chicago's fascinating architectural history. There are also various more general sightseeing tours and relaxing river cruises available.
  • The Fountain is located within reasonable walking distance of Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile and Millenium Park so if you are visiting any of these sights be sure to add it to your list of must-sees.

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