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SCOVILLE PARK FOUNTAIN (1903 - S.094)
(HORSE SHOW ASSOCIATION FOUNTAIN)
RECONSTRUCTED FOUNTAIN (1969)
The Wright-Bock Fountain was originally built by the Oak Park Horse Show Association in 1909 and located on the curb of Lake Street, 100 feet from its present location. The fountain was built to serve not only people but horses and dogs as well. The fountain's design is generally believed to be a product of sculptor Richard Bock but the actual attribution is a bit fuzzy. Donald P. Hallmark, a Bock historian, stated the fountain was designed by Bock between 1907 and 1908 but with the help of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Bock did much of Wright's architectural sculpture and worked, for a time, in Wright's studio in Oak Park as well. It was Bock himself who suggested that it was Wright who pushed for the central opening in the fountain, and thus he "began to lay claim to the whole project." The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation claims the work as a Wright design from 1903. The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust lists Wright as the architect and Bock as the sculptor. 
       In 1969 the badly deteriorated original fountain was reconstructed and the replica placed in Scoville Park at the corner of Oak Park Drive and Lake Street in Oak Park. Its new location was an area paved with brick and flanked by concrete benches. During the reconstruction the original materials that comprised the fountain were replaced in their entirety. The poured concrete elements of the fountain were replaced with a concrete that had a rough aggregate finish. During the reconstruction, the original inscription (from the original fountain on the facade that now bears the reconstruction-dedication panel) was lost to history.  (Wikipedia. Photography to right of 1969 Fountain by IvoShandor.)

Also see "Prairie School Review" No. 2, 1971, pages 19-20.

   
 
  HISTORY OF SCOVILLE PARK    SCOVILLE PARK FOUNTAIN 1909      GILMAN LANE 1935    GRANT MANSON 1940 
  RECONSTRUCTION 1969    BOOKS    POSTCARDS 
 
 
HISTORY OF SCOVILLE PARK
   
Scoville Place was established as Oak Park’s first public park in 1912 and was designed by Jens Jensen in 1913. In 1837 Joseph Kettlestrings purchased 172 acres from the federal government which included the current park today. He built his second home on what would become the southwest corner of Scoville Park. James Wilmarth Scoville purchased the current park site from Kettlestrings in 1857. He built a large white mansion in the center of the property and lived in the home until 1893 when he retired and moved to California. It was demolished in 1912, making way for the design of Scoville Park. The tennis courts were added in 1913. The Scoville Manion site was defined by a wrought iron fence around the perimeter of the property. It was removed in 1956. A low limestone curb/retaining wall was installed along the Lake street side of the property at that time. The southeast corner of the park, once densely planted, was opened up in 1969 when the Horse Show Fountain was reconstructed in that corner.  
The Scoville Homestead, Oak park, ILL.
No. 958. V.O. Hammon, Pub. Co. Chicago.
   
   
   
SCOVILLE PARK FOUNTAIN (1909)
   
Scoville Park Fountain, Oak Park 1909. Published in the Chicago Daily News in 1909. Taken by a Chicago Daily News photographer. Erected by the Oak Park Horse Show Association. Dedicated and presented to the Village July 24, 1909.   Photographed and first published after the presentation. Note height of horse trough. Plants growing on top. The wrought iron fence beyond fountain was installed by James Scoville. His white mansion is visible in the background.
 

Scoville Park Fountain Detail (1909)

Date: 1909

Title: Scoville Park Fountain, Oak Park (1903 - S.094) 1909.

Description: Published in the Chicago Daily News in 1909. Taken by a Chicago Daily News photographer. Erected by the Oak Park Horse Show Association. Dedicated and presented to the Village July 24, 1909. Photographed and first published after the presentation. Note height of horse trough. Plants growing on top. Wrought iron fence beyond fountain. Home is visible in the background.

Size: 8.25 x 6 Print. High res digital image.

S#: 0086.04.0310

   
   
   
SCOVILLE PARK FOUNTAIN BY GILMAN LANE (Circa 1935)
   
Scoville Park Fountain circa 1935-45. Photographed by Gilman Lane circa 1935-45. Note changes since the photograph in 1909. Street level is higher, decreasing the height of horse trough. Plants still growing on top. There is a chip on the lower   right side of the fountain. Scoville's wrought iron fence beyond fountain now has hedge on park side. Trees just beyond the fence and the power poll to the right of the fountain are gone.
   
Date: Circa 1935-45

Title: Scoville Park Fountain, Oak Park (1903 S.094) Circa 1935-45.

Description: Printed in 1969. Stamped on verso: "Jul 1969. Field Enterprises, Inc." Date stamp: "May 29, ‘69." Photographed by Gilman Lane circa 1935-45. Printed in 1969 by the Chicago Daily News for an article on the reconstruction of the Scoville Park Fountain, Oak Park. Originally constructed in 1909, it was reconstructed 100 feet from it’s original location. The new reconstructed fountain was dedicated on June 8, 1969. Gilman Lane’s photographs were given to the Oak Park Public Library after his death in 1961. There are two images in the OPPL collection by Lane that appear to photographed at the same time. This one photographed from the park side, and the second photographed from the street. The Art Institute of Chicago has a copy of the second image and dates the image between 1935-1945. Acquired from the archives of the Chicago Daily News.

Size: Original 10 x 8 B&W print.

S#: 0397.07.0310

   
Date: Circa 1935-45

Title: Scoville Park Fountain, Oak Park (1903 S.094) Circa 1935-45.

Description: Originally constructed in 1909. Photographed by Gilman Lane circa 1935-45 photographed from the street. Note changes since the photograph in 1909. Street level is higher, decreasing the height of horse trough. Plants still growing on top. There is a chip on the lower right side of the fountain. Wrought iron fence beyond fountain now has hedge on park side. Trees just beyond the fence and the power poll to the right of the fountain are gone.

Size: 6.5 x 8.25 Print. High res digital image.

S#: 0397.08.0310

   
   
   
SCOVILLE PARK FOUNTAIN BY GRANT MANSON (Circa 1940)
   
Scoville Park Fountain photographed by Grant Manson between1937 and 1941 while he was researching for his dissertation which later became the book titled "Frank Lloyd Wright to 1910". The photographs were not used in his book, but are an excellent record of the condition of the fountain around 1940. It shows the extreme deterioration after just thirty years. When comparing this image with Gilman    Lane’s, there are slight changes. The hedge on he other side of the wrought iron fence has filled out. The loose rocks that appeared in Lane’s between the curb and fountain have been removed and filled in. The only other visible change is the extreme deterioration.
 
Date: Circa 1940

Title: Scoville Park Fountain, Oak Park (1903 S.094) Circa 1940.

Description: Originally constructed in 1909. Photographed by Grant Manson between1937 and 1941 while he was researching for his dissertation which later became the book titled "Frank Lloyd Wright to 1910". The photographs were not used in the book, but are a good record of the condition of the fountain around 1940. It shows the extreme deterioration after just thirty years. When comparing this image with Gilman Lane’s, there are slight changes. The hedge on he other side of the iron fence has filled out. The loose rocks that appeared in Lane’s between the curb and fountain have been removed and filled in. The only other visible change is the extreme deterioration.

Size: 7.6 x 4.75 Print. High res digital image.

S#: 0531.26.0310

   
   
   
SCOVILLE PARK FOUNTAIN RECONSTRUCTION (1969)
   
In 1969 the badly deteriorated original fountain was removed and the replica placed in the southeast corner of Scoville Park at the corner of Oak Park Drive and Lake Street in Oak Park. It was dedicated on June 8, 1969 in honor of architect Frank Lloyd Wright on what Wright's home town, Oak Park, considered was the 100th anniversary of his birth. The long-delayed tribute also happened to coincide   with Oak Park’s centennial. At the time, the date of Wright's birth was regarded to be June 8, 1869, later clarified to be 1967. The southeast corner of the park, once densely planted, was opened up in 1969 when the Horse Show Fountain was reconstructed in that corner.
 
Date: 1969

Title: Scoville Park Fountain, Oak Park (1903 S.094) 1969.

Description: Originally constructed in 1909. In 1969 the badly deteriorated original fountain was reconstructed and the replica placed in the southeast corner of Scoville Park at the corner of Oak Park Drive and Lake Street in Oak Park. Caption reads "World Horizons - Advance for AMS Sunday, 8/17/69. To go with UPI Dispatch by Barney Seibert. 8/16/69 - Oak Park, ILL.: This is the reconditioned horse trough made into a fountain and dedicated on 6/8 in honor of architect Frank Lloyd Wright on what folks in the old home own thought was the 100th anniversary of his birth. The long-delayed tribute also happened to coincide with the year of Oak Park’s centennial. But the date of his birth is subject to argument. He might have shaved two years from his age around 1920. UPI Telephoto -hgr-.

Size: 7 x 9.5 Print. High res digital image.

S#: 1803.06.0310

   
   
   
BOOKS
 
Date: 2002

Title: National Register of Historic Places, Scoville Park, Oak Park, IL (Prepared by the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest and the Park District of Oak Park, Oak Park, IL)

Author: Gilmore, Lesley M.

Description: Registration and Continuation forms for Scoville Park, Oak Park, Illinois (S.094). Includes detailed historical information concerning Scoville Park and Oak Park.

Size: 8.5 x 11.

Pages: Pp 60

ST#: 2002.93.0310

   
   
   
POSTCARDS
 
Date: 1909

Title: Scoville Park Fountain (1903 - S.094).

Description: "The Oak Park Fountain" 1909. "Erected by the Oak Park Horse Show Association, Dedicated and Presented to the Village July 24, 1909" (Left) "Published by the Fine Arts Society of Oak Park for the Parks and Playground Fund" (Right). Back: "The profit from the sale of this card accrues to the Parks and Play-Grounds Fund. This card is used by Oak Park’s loyal citizens. Copyright 1909, by The Fine Arts Society of Oak Park." In Bock’s autobiography he writes, "At he time the Unity Temple was being built I was also commissioned to design a drinking fountain ‘for man and beast’ in Oak Park... I showed my design to Frank and asked how he liked it. He looked at it at length with approval, then made a suggestion, took a pencil and poked a square hole through the center shaft, changing it... The only difficulty was that now he began to lay claim to the whole project, and so stated to the committee. Mr. Woodward come to my rescue..." (P90). The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation maintains that the fountain was a result of a collaboration by Wright and Bock, the sculpture on the fountain being by Bock, dating the design to 1903.

Size: 5.5 x 3.25.

S#: 0086.07.0812

   
Date: Circa 1970

Title: Oak Park Fountain, Circa 1970.

Description: Back: "The Wright-Bock Fountain erected in 1909 by the Oak Park Horse Show Association, relocated and restored in Scoville Green, Oak Park, Illinois, in 1969. A Project of the Tourism Committee of the Oak Park - River Forest Chamber of Commerce. 65223-C. Pub. By Michael West Photography, Oak Park, Ill. 386-5800. Made by Dexter Press, Inc. West Nyack, New York. ("-B" tends to be from the 1960s, "-C" tends to be from the 1970's) Gift from Randolph C. Henning.

Size: 5.5 x 3.5.

S#: 1846.09.0809

   
   

 

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