Designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa and inspired by the people of Chicago, The Crown Fountain is a major addition to the city’s world-renowned public art collection. The fountain consists of two 50-foot glass block towers at each end of a shallow reflecting pool.
The towers project video images from a broad social spectrum of Chicago citizens, a reference to the traditional use of gargoyles in fountains, where faces of mythological beings were sculpted with open mouths to allow water, a symbol of life, to flow out. Plensa adapted this practice by having faces of Chicago citizens projected on LED screens and having water flow through a water outlet in the screen to give the illusion of water spouting from their mouths. The collection of faces, Plensa’s tribute to Chicagoans, was taken from a cross-section of 1,000 residents.