Fun dries up at Crown Center
The Kansas City Star
Alas, one of Kansas City’s great spontaneous pleasures has abruptly ended.
That would be the joyous run by swarms of children and a few adults through the Crown Center Square Fountain.
Officials of the shopping and entertaining complex announced Tuesday that henceforth visitors will have to enjoy the fountain from dry ground.
For decades, people have used the fountain to cool off and have fun. With its myriad of splashing jets, the place is easily taken for a gigantic spray pool — although the slippery, hard surface and absence of an attendant would indicate otherwise.
Crown Center officials now say they are concerned about the safety of people playing in the fountain, and also the possibility of exposure to water-borne illnesses. The fountain, they say, was “never designed or intended to be a public pool.”
To state the obvious, the fountain is no more dangerous today than it was yesterday, or last year. However, the wonder isn’t that Crown Center is taking action now, but that officials have held off for this long.
In an overcautious, overregulated era, the Crown Center fountain was an anomaly. That was a large part of its appeal. The decision to restrict its access to looking and listening is regrettable, but not surprising.