The Soda Fountain
This bronze sculpture, created by artist Georgia Gerber, memorializes the months-long sit-in of African American college students in the former Dockum's Drugstore, which took place in July-August 1954. Ultimately, the sit-in was successful; the owner allowed the participants to eat at the counter and soon the city began to desegregate.
Backstory and Context
While not quite as famous as other sit-ins that came later, the Dockum’s protest remains a pivotal moment in desegregation in the state of Kansas. In 1998, this sculpture was first unveiled to the public, in memoriam of the original protest.
The sculpture depicts a man spinning his young boy on the chair, the waitress, and another customer waiting for her meal. It is part of the "Streetscape" installation, which is spread out over a four-block area. It features various sculptures depicting children playing, as well as adults. Two children riding scooters are located near the counter.
"Streetscape" was commissioned as part of a downtown revitalization project. The open seats are open for local workers in the area to sit on during their lunch break.