Photo is from 1911, notice the chained drinking cups for two legged visitors.
Originally used at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, the Cold Water Girl Fountain, found a new home outside the Women’s Temple at La Salle & Monroe (demolished, 1926).
Before the demolition of the Chicago Woman’s Temple, the original fountain was moved to Lincoln Park near Lake Shore Drive and North Avenue in 1921. It remained there until going into storage during the 1930s when the site was altered for the Lake Shore Drive reconstruction project. It was reinstalled in 1940 in Lincoln Park just south of the W. LaSalle Drive underpass. In the late 1950s, the bronze figure was stolen and never recovered, but its stone base remained intact over the years.
A reproduction of the fountain is in Lincoln Park by the underpass at LaSalle Drive, and is working. It is full of water which runs down from the bowl the girl holds. There is also a dog level trough at the rear.
Cold Water Girl
Chicago Tribune, July 18, 1894
Miss Frances E. Willard came down to her office in the Women’s Temple shortly after 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon. For an hour or more she was busy with the meeting of general officers.
She said, “This was our first meeting to make plans for our national convention which will be held at Music Hall, Cleveland, Nov. 18 to 21. It will be the celebration of coming of age of the society, and will be held in the very city where twenty years ago the crusade was begun. Perhaps Lady Somerset may come here.”
Sept. 28 is Miss Willard’s birthday. It will be celebrated by the unveiling of the Cold Water Girl, a fountain built by Mrs. Anna Gordon, who collected $3,000 in pennies from children. The fountain will be placed in front of Willard Hall. Miss Willard, it is expected, will make the speech at the unveiling.
Water Girl Fountain in front of Willard Hall, Women’s Building
LaSalle and Monroe Streets
Chicago Tribune, March 5, 1939
The “Little Cold Water Girl” fountain, erected at the temple by children’s pennies, now stands in Lincoln park.
Water Girl Reproduction Plaque
Frances E. Willard, Commemorative Coin
Chicago Tribune October 3, 2013
After 55 years, Fountain Girl again stands in Chicago
Stolen statue never recovered, so replica was commissioned
The bronze statue of a little girl offering water from a basin atop a stone structure had been missing from Lincoln Park for almost 60 years.
On Wednesday, a new version of the statue, known as Fountain Girl, was officially welcomed back by the Chicago Park District during an unveiling ceremony at the gateway to the park just east of the Chicago History Museum.
The original 4-1/2-foot-tall Fountain Girl disappeared in a crime that remains unsolved.
Several years ago, a woman who remembered playing near the statue as a girl approached officials and asked how the statue could be brought back. In 2007, private donors including that woman — who has requested anonymity — along with the Park District, the state and the Lincoln Park Conservancy started an effort to raise money for a new statue.
Making a new Fountain Girl wasn’t an easy task. Park District officials tracked down a copy of the statue in Portland, Maine, and had to get permission to make a mold so it could be replicated and the girl could stand once again in Chicago, said Cindy Mitchell, a former Park District commissioner who spoke at Wednesday’s event.
Until a few weeks ago, the stone base of the fountain stood by itself in the park.
“You’d walk by and you’d think, ‘What is that?'” Mitchell said. “And now it’s just back to perfect.”
The original statue was created by English artist George Wade in 1893. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union commissioned the work in an effort to offer an alternative to liquor — fresh water — to visitors at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park, according to park officials.
Fountain Girl was moved to the Loop for a time before landing near Lake Shore Drive and North Avenue in Lincoln Park in 1921, park officials said.
When the Lake Shore Drive construction project began in the 1930s, Fountain Girl went into storage until it was installed again near where it was unveiled Wednesday, just south of the West LaSalle Drive underpass. There it stood until 1958, when it was stolen, most likely for the value of the bronze, Mitchell said.
“We kept saying, ‘Oh, it will turn up in someone’s backyard, (but) finally we realized we’ll never have it,'” said Sarah Ward, a former president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union who attended Wednesday’s ceremony. “To think that they have recreated it for us is wonderful.”
Moments after Wednesday’s event, a pair of dogs walking with their owner lapped up water from the fountain, to the delight of community members and park employees who lingered nearby.
Unlike in years past, people should refrain from joining animals in drinking water from the sculpture, said Marta Juaniza, a Park District spokeswoman.
“It’s not potable, but the bottom should be OK for dogs.”