Dillon Memorial

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dillon Memorial
Dillon Memorial Davenport, Iowa.JPG
Dillon Memorial is located in Iowa
Dillon Memorial
Dillon Memorial is located in the US
Dillon Memorial
Location S. Main St.
Davenport, Iowa
Coordinates 41°31′12″N 90°34′32″W / 41.52000°N 90.57556°W / 41.52000; -90.57556Coordinates: 41°31′12″N 90°34′32″W / 41.52000°N 90.57556°W / 41.52000; -90.57556
Area less than one acre
Built 1918-1919
Architect Franklin & Arthur Ware, Paul Schultz
Architectural style Classical Revival
MPS Davenport MRA
NRHP Reference # 83002421[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP July 7, 1983
Designated DRHP June 2, 1993[2]

The Dillon Memorial is located in LeClaire Park, near downtown Davenport, Iowa, United States. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and on the Davenport Register of Historic Properties in 1993. It is commonly referred to as the Dillon Fountain.[3]


Dillon bas-relief

The structure memorializes John Forrest Dillon who was a Davenport attorney, an Iowa Supreme Court Justice and a judge on the United States Circuit Court. A bequest after his death on May 6, 1914, specified the construction and location of the fountain.[4] The memorial anchors the south end of Main Street and faces the Civil War Monument twelve blocks to the north on top of the bluff. It was also meant to be a focal point and dramatic terminus for the street, which connects LeClaire Park with Vander Veer Park in central Davenport.

Like the Civil War Monument, Main Street surrounded the Dillon Memorial. When the memorial was constructed from 1918 to 1919 there were no other structures on the south side of River Drive. The memorial was part of a major riverfront development program by the Levee Improvement Commission along with Union Station and the W.D. Petersen Memorial Music Pavilion.[4] It was at this time that the name of Riverfront Park was changed to LeClaire Park. In 1922 the Municipal Natatorium was built on the west side of the street from the memorial, and a year later the Lend-A-Hand Club was built to the east. The Lend-a-Hand building was also listed on the NRHP. In the late 20th century the memorial returned to its original state when the other two structures were torn down. Main Street was then closed south of River Drive and the area was incorporated into LeClaire Park in 1997. At that time the brick plaza was built around the fountain.[3]


The Davenport Levee Improvement Commission sponsored a design competition for the memorial. New York artists Franklin and Arthur Ware won the competition and designed the memorial in association with Paul Schultz.[5] The Dillon Memorial is a Neoclassical structure built in concrete. The style is typical of monuments and public buildings that were built at the time. It also reflected Arthur Ware's training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

The monument is an upright, fluted column surrounded by a circular basin, which functions as a fountain. A lantern sits on top of a platform capital. Bas-relief panels of lion heads and garland swags decorate the base of the column.[5] There is also a bas-relief likeness of Judge Dillon on the column.


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Historic Preservation Commission. "Davenport Register of Historic Properties" (PDF). City of Davenport. Retrieved 2017-02-10. 
  3. ^ a b Tory Brecht (April 11, 2008). "Davenport fixing Dillon Fountain". Quad-City Times. Davenport. Retrieved 2010-10-06. 
  4. ^ a b Martha Bowers; Marlys Svendsen-Roesler. "Dillon Memorial" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-07-03.  with photos
  5. ^ a b "Dillon Memorial" (PDF). Davenport Public Library. Retrieved 2010-10-06. 

External links[edit]