Name: Meeting of the Waters Fountains
Address: Location: Market, 18th to 20th Street
Sculptor: Carl Milles; Foundry - Cr
Donor: $12,500 - Mrs. Louis P. Aloe, $ 7,500 - Howard Baer, Balance - St. Louis City
Designation: City Landmark
The instigator of the plans for the Milles Mountain group was Mrs. Louis P. Aloe. She had become familiar with Milles´ work in 1930 through an exhibition of modern art held in St. Louis. She decided that the City should have a monumental fountain designed by Milles. Due to the Depression and a change in political atmosphere, it was not until 1936 that any active steps were taken. At that time, Mrs. Aloe presented the City with $12,500. Mayor Dickmann appointed a Commission to study the proposal, and by April 1936, the contract with Milles was signed. When the plaster casts were unveiled, the commotion over their nudity was stayed by changing the name from "The Wedding of the Waters" to the title it presently carries. There was additional criticism as little significance was seen between St. Louis and the Greek mythological figures. The statues of the fountain were threatened in 1942 by the need of scrap metal for the impending war. The fountain was not sacrificed.
The fountain´s 14 figures celebrate the meeting of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The male Mississippi figure, riding a catfish, approaches the female figure, the Missouri. He holds in his out-stretched hand a tulip. She stands, demurely dressing her hair. The couple is attended by 14 smaller figures, representing naiads, tritons, small boys and leaping fish. These are symbolic of the smaller streams which empty into the two larger rivers. In 1966, the tulip carried by the male figure was stolen. John Newman was commissioned by Howard Baer to do two tulips at a cost of $200 each, the extra to be kept in reserve in case a similar situation should arise.
site was made possible by: the City of St. Louis Planning and Urban Design Agency and