In 1998, the Public Building Commission of Chicago began a neighborhood beautification project with the goal of constructing or repairing eighteen fountains throughout the city. Mariano Park, a tiny green space in Chicago’s Near North neighborhood, was one of the sites selected for a new fountain.
The Public Building Commission selected the Robinson Iron company’s Botanic Gardens Fountain and installed it near the park’s historic Prairie Style shelter which was designed by architect Birch Burdette Long. Composed of a cast iron urn that gently drips water into a lower basin, the decorative fountain has a low cast concrete knee wall, on which people can sit. The park improvements included new brick paving, vintage style lighting fixtures, and modern benches.