Fountain of the PioneersFountain of the Pioneers
Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park featured an Art Deco-style fountain built with help from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The fountain was located toward the east side of the park.
Kalamazoo Business and Professional Women’s Club held a competition, awarding the first place $250 prize to Marcelline Gougler, University of Illinois art instructor who had studied under well-known sculptor Alfonso Iannelli, designer of Pavilions at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair Center of Progress and student of Gutzon Borglum, Mount Rushmore sculptor.
Iannelli was brought in to provide engineering and later Gougler, ceded the project to him. The fountain depicts a westward facing settler standing over an Indian in full headdress and is in the art deco style to complement the nearby city hall.
The fountain was removed on April 24, 2018, due to racial outcry, and put into storage. Removed from National Register of Historic Places August 19, 2019.
Fountain of Pioneers - https://www.kpl.gov/local-history/kalamazoo-history/parks/fountain-of-the-pioneers/
Fountain of the Pioneers - http://michigan-modern.herokuapp.com/buildings/fountain-of-the-pioneers
Fountain of the Pioneers - https://www.kpl.gov/local-history/kalamazoo-history/parks/fountain-of-the-pioneers/
Alfonso Iannelli - https://metropolismag.com/projects/alfonso-iannelli-20th-century-renaissance-man/
Gutzon Borglum - https://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/mount-rushmore-1
National Register of Historic Places removal - https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nationalregister/weekly-list-20190823.htm
National Register of Historic Places application - https://catalog.archives.gov/id/25338177
Project originally submitted by Courtney James on December 14, 2022.
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