The Statues of Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park’s collection of sculptures and monuments may contain some new surprises.  Julia Bachrach, the Chicago Park District Historian, will lead her second 2016 Jane’s Walk at 2PM on Saturday, May 7 in Lincoln Park.  The Walk will begin at the Standing Lincoln Monument, east of the Chicago History Museum.  Julia is excited to share with you some fascinating updates about these artworks, including several long-missing historic monuments that have recently returned to the park.

Chicago photos by Robert Knapp for SINGLONDON

Julia Bachrach, Park District Historian

In 2015, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation generously funded a project – Statue Stories Chicago – that has given voice to 31 statues throughout the city, many of which are in Chicago’s parks.

Statue Stories Chicago

Statue Stories Chicago

This tour will highlight five in Lincoln Park, including the:

  • Longmissing Fountain Girl! This bronze figurative sculpture was stolen in 1958 and recast and reinstalled in 2012.  She found her voice through a teen writing competition co-sponsored by the Chicago Park District.  If you bring your smart phone on the tour, you can hear the winning monologue by Evanston teen Aela Morris.  The actor was drama student Chloe Grace, who participates in cultural arts programs at Austin Town Hall Park.
Fountain Girl, Lincoln Park

Fountain Girl, Lincoln Park

  • Longmissing artwork—Charitas! In 1922, woman artist Ida McClelland Stout won a contest to sculpt a monument for the Daily News Fresh Air Sanitarium for Sick Babies (now Theater on the Lake).  Charitas was removed from Lincoln Park in the 1930s as part of the WPA Lake Shore Drive expansion project.  Today, the monument has been conserved and reinstalled in Lincoln Park as part of the landfill extension work near the Theater on the Lake.

These are just two examples of the sensory array that you’ll visit on this Walk through Lincoln Park.  We hope you’ll join us!

3 thoughts on “The Statues of Lincoln Park

  1. Hi, My name is Regina Mazur, I used to live in CG and would always walk by the Fountain girl statue. She would come to live everytime, so I wanted to share below poem, that I wrote, a while back. Thank you so much for sharing the Talking Statues Chicago. I loved a Jane’s Walk in CG along the Dearborn Street it was amazing. Thank you. Regina

    Fountain Girl

    The leaves were covering the ground
    Green, Yellow, Orange, Red
    The park was really quiet, No sounds.
    Were heard for miles ahead

    I walked alone for a while
    In peaceful state of mind
    I saw a statue standing there
    The very rare kind

    It looked to be a fountain girl
    About age of ten
    She poured the water in a bowl
    And poured it out again

    Her features were so young
    So beautiful and free
    It seemed that she would come alive
    That she would talk to me

    I named her Francis I don’t know
    Where did that name come from?
    She asked me very quietly
    To help her find a home

    She said that she was getting tired
    Of standing in the park
    She said that she was really scared
    To be there in the dark

    She said that she has no friends
    And’s tired of being alone
    She said that no one wants to talk
    To lifeless piece of stone

    I looked into her big sad eyes
    And said I’d be her friend
    She said that I would be the one
    And only friend she had

    I said that now I know she’s there
    I won’t leave her alone
    I told her that she is alive
    And not a lifeless stone

    She said that nothing could be done
    To make her feel alive
    She said that no matter what
    She’ll never come to life

    I said that she already is
    I hear beat of her heart
    I told her that I think she is
    A precious form of art

    She thanked me quietly and then
    She turned away from me
    She said she hopes that her GOD
    Will set her spirit free

    So she could live and laugh and play
    And find a family
    So that a lifeless piece of stone
    She didn’t have to be.

    I told her life is very short
    For human kind of course
    I said that if she truly wait’s
    The nature will take its course

    I said that stone that she’s made from
    Is bound to fall apart
    And then she’ll truly come to life
    And will be human art

    I told her not to lose her hope
    And never to feel blue
    This way the wishes she will make
    Will surely come true

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