Fountain of Time, Lorado Taft's 126 foot long statue in Washington Park, was an integral part of a Midway Plaisance beautification plan that was first proposed in 1912. Taft submitted two possible themes for the beautification plan, and since plans to commemorate the World's Columbian Exposition were already underway in Chicago, his second theme, celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Treaty of Ghent, was chosen for the Midway.
The statue, inspired by a Henry Austin Dobson poem called "Paradox of Time," depicts the entire spectrum of humanity at various stages of life (birth, the struggle for existence, love, family life, religion, poetry, and war). All 100 figures, one for each year since the treaty was signed, are parading past a cloaked Father Time, and are said to be passing in review as they rush through their various stages.
Fountain of Time was finally completed in 1920 after seven years of preparations and building. Work on a sister statue, Fountain of Creation, which was to be to be erected at the opposite end of the Midway, was started soon after. Unfortunately, this statue was never completed, and it's finished portions were given to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Taft's alma mater.