Historic Kalamazoo fountain gets grant

Jul 11, 2013

The "Fountain of the Pioneers" in Kalamazoo's Bronson Park
Credit WMUK

A plan to restore an historic fountain in Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park will get an $83,000 kick start. City officials say they’ve won a grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation in Wisconsin to help pay for work on the “Fountain of the Pioneers”. The City has three years to raise another $166,000 in matching money for the restoration project that's expected to cost up to $2.5 million.

Detail of the fountain at the center of controversy
Credit WMUK

The fountain designed by Modernist artist and arichitect Alfonso Ianelli built in 1940 has been controversial in more recent years because of the way it portrays Native Americans. City officials say the restoration will include creation of a new public artwork in cooperation with area tribes.

Although the fountain has been the focus of restoration efforts before, officials say the Art Deco monument has suffered because of exposure to winter cold and summer heat.