Popular Printers Fountain being restored in South Loop Park
SOUTH LOOP – The Printers Row fountain gets a six-figure makeover, thanks to the Printers Row Park Advisory Board, the Chicago Park District and Ald. Sophie King (4th).
The park’s advisory board began restoration efforts in September, launching a crowdsourcing campaign to defray the cost of the project with the goal of raising $110,000 to improve lighting, repair the pump and pipes, replace the landforms in colored enamel and polish bronze highlights of the fountain.
The fountain, located inside Printers Row Park, 632 S. Dearborn St., was designed by Edward Winhurst in 1999.
It is unclear whether the park advisory board achieved its goal; Members could not be reached for comment. But King confirmed his office would match the park district’s $10,000 contribution.
“This was a high priority for the Park Advisory Board, and we are happy to add resources. Beautification is important, and it brings safety and other positive things to the neighborhood,” King said.
Tours with Mike Founder Mike McMains, who runs virtual tours of Printers Row, sees the fountain and the park surrounding it as a symbol of stability for a once-declining neighborhood.
Home to printing companies like RR Donnelly and Sons and Rand McNally, Printers Row was the printing center of the Midwest until advances in technology made it easier for publishers to move.
“After the printing press moved to the suburbs, in the 1960s and 1970s, it became Skid Row – all the smaller buildings that were completely barren and dilapidated are all demolished. Some of these buildings stood on the site which is now Printers Row Park. When the park was built in the 1980s, it was something of a “coming out” party, McMains said.
Formerly Park No. 543, the official name change was not finalized until February 2021. Printers Row Park is home to Printers Row Lit Fest and a Farmer’s Market.
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