Washington Monument Restoration (Baltimore) - SkyscraperCity
 

forums map | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Continental Forums > North American Skyscrapers Forum > United States > Northeast and MidAtlantic > Local Forums > Baltimore / Washington DC


Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old November 1st, 2014, 05:02 PM   #1
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

Washington Monument Restoration (Baltimore)

Mount Vernon Place, a National Historic Landmark

Baltimore is celebrating the bicentennial of the nation’s first monument to George Washington. The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy is pleased to announce “A Monumental Bicentennial” and the re-opening of Baltimore’s iconic Washington Monument on Saturday July 4, 2015.

Baltimore’s Washington Monument, located on a national scenic byway is the centerpiece of a National Historic Landmark District. It was constructed 200 years ago when Baltimoreans envisioned and commenced one of the most beautiful urban spaces in America, Mount Vernon Place. The Monument and the four surrounding squares of Mount Vernon Place have been enjoyed by generations of Baltimoreans, travelers from around the world, and major historical figures including Abraham Lincoln, King Edward VIII and Peter Tchaikovsky for their beauty and significance on the national stage of history.

Robert Mills designed the monument and its ornamental fence. He later designed the better-known Washington Monument in Washington D.C. The cornerstone was laid on July 4th, 1815, shortly after the end of the War of 1812. The Monument was built of local white marble, from quarries in Baltimore County, just north of the City. In 1829, the Monument was completed when the statue of Washington, sculpted by Italian artist Enrico Causici (who worked two years on the 16-foot-high statue cut into three blocks of nearly seven tons each) was raised to the top. The statue of George Washington depicts him submitting his resignation as Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army in Annapolis in 1783, an act symbolic of his belief in the new American form of democratic government and the world’s most famous peaceful transfer of power.

John Eager Howard’s heirs, working with architect Robert Mills, laid out the surrounding four park squares in 1831. A significant redesign was accomplished by Frederick Law Olmstead, Sr. and the City of Baltimore beginning in 1876. This design remained in place until 1917 when America entered World War I. In 1917, as a gesture of support for the French, ground was broken for a statue of the Marquis de Lafayette, who aided the colonial army in the Revolutionary War. To create a setting for this new statue, the park squares underwent a major redesign by the prestigious firm of Carrerre and Hastings, the architects of the New York Public Library, from 1917-1924. Their design remains intact today.





Master Plan
http://mvpconservancy.org/wp-content...aster-Plan.pdf
A rendering from OLIN of the south square


The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy (MVPC) was formed in October 2008, with leadership from the Friends of Mount Vernon Place and the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association. In April of 2012, the Conservancy entered into an Agreement with the City of Baltimore authorizing the Conservancy to restore and manage the Washington Monument and the surrounding four squares. The restoration of the nearly 200 year old structure is the largest part of a three phase plan established by the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy to renovate and restore Mount Vernon Place. Work began in January of 2014 and is scheduled for completion by July 4, 2015— in time for the bicentennial of the laying of its cornerstone. The first restoration phase is a 5.5 million dollar project to restore the monument. 12 million dollars will need to be raised to complete phase 2 and 3 for the north and south squares, begin work on the east and west squares, and fulfill the majority of capital improvements laid out in the master plan. 3 part restoration phase will go to repair the monument that was closed to the public three years ago for safety reasons. They expect it to reopen for tours — and a panoramic view of the city from 178 feet above Charles Street — for its bicentennial.OLIN, a leading landscape architecture firm widely known for their transformative design of Bryant Park in New York won a competition to develop a Master Plan for Mount Vernon Place that will take new lighting and electrical systems, traffic calming, greater access for the disabled and more.

Yesterday, was a restoration milestone! The scaffold is down, fully revealing the column again. Thanks to J.D. Belfield Enterprises for a great job. Work continues on the exterior of the base and inside!


You can donate here on the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy website
http://mvpconservancy.org/
__________________

PeterSmith, RavensFan0606 liked this post

Last edited by CharmCity1; April 21st, 2015 at 01:44 PM.
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old November 1st, 2014, 05:32 PM   #2
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

During the restoration some interesting historical artifacts have been found including a 100 year old time capsule. The sealed time capsule was discovered behind a 1915 plaque commemorating the Monument’s Centennial. The removal of the plaque had taken place only to investigate the original appearance of the plaster inside the monument’s museum room — but upon its removal, the soldered copper box was unveiled.

According to archived news articles from 1915, it is thought to contain past articles from the Baltimore Sun, pamphlets from the monument’s centennial celebration, and currency from 1915.

The capsule was moved to the nearby Walters Art Museum where conservators will assess its condition and determine when it will be safe to open the box.

__________________

PeterSmith liked this post

Last edited by CharmCity1; April 20th, 2015 at 01:12 AM.
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 2nd, 2014, 12:58 AM   #3
SantiniHeKnewHoudini
Dantini_HeKnewHoudini
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 240
Likes (Received): 182

thank you so much for the posts. i love the history and the fact that it is from Baltimore
__________________

CharmCity1 liked this post
SantiniHeKnewHoudini no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old November 2nd, 2014, 02:26 AM   #4
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

Quote:
Originally Posted by SantiniHeKnewHoudini View Post
thank you so much for the posts. i love the history and the fact that it is from Baltimore
Your welcome thank you for viewing!

As part of the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy’s development of a master plan for the restoration of all of Mount Vernon Place, an initial structural survey was taken of the condition of the Washington Monument. The engineering team found that the large stones that comprise the parapet walls of the monument’s upper balcony were in many places missing the bed of mortar that supports them, and that some of these stones were therefore largely resting on large iron pins which “stitch” them to the stone underneath. Rust was compromising this now exposed iron, suggesting that this area should be stabilized. For these reasons, the City of Baltimore closed the Monument in 2010. The monument did not suffer any discernible damage from the 2011 earthquake that hit Baltimore and the East Coast like its sister monument in Washington DC.
__________________

jamie_hunt, SantiniHeKnewHoudini liked this post

Last edited by CharmCity1; April 20th, 2015 at 01:16 AM.
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 2nd, 2014, 12:20 PM   #5
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

The location of the commemorative date stone discovered last week. The dates, possibly 1816-1820 may commemorate the construction period of the column proper. Once installed, the top of this stone would never have been visible to a Monument visitor



A rubber mold was taken of the top of the commemorative date stone while the scaffold allowed access. "July" at center is the most prominent word. The mold will allow continued investigation of the wording now that the original is no longer accessible.



The commemorative date stone discovered this week at the Monument.


project lead from Worcester Eisenbrandt tries to enhance the letters with light dusting of lime. The carved letters are now very shallow because the stone has eroded over time.


One capstone remains to be placed on the east stairs. Where it will rest--amid the rough chisel marks--it appears stone mason "NK" or "NR" or "NP" decided to leave their mark, possibly in the 1820s.



J.W. Hogg, 1829. One of many people who signed their names on this wall. Underneath the Washington Monument.



Brush with history. This week the stone masons found a discarded chisel in the side wall of the south marble stair case. Buried deep in stone rubble, it might date from the 1820s during the original construction period.



A truckload of clean Monument fence sections arrives at the G. Krug & Son shop for repairs and repainting.



The iron window grates from the Monument's staircases are also being restored by G. Krug and Son. Paint removal revealed a surprise--that those from the south stair are not fully of iron like the others--but have spears of perhaps bronze or brass.



Lewis Contractors and CVM inspect the bases of the Monument's "tripods" or braziers--at the Krug shop. Like other details of the monument they were inspired by ancient forms. Their flaking paint has been removed. They will be restored and repainted.



More pieces of the Monument's fence at G. Krug & Son. A forest of axes.



The amazing cast iron fence designed by Robert Mills frames a craftsman repairing the south staircase at the Monument. The fence is one of the next items to be restored. This section has remained on site, and was used to test the (original) "bronze green" color that will be restored. It will first be cleaned of years of accumulated paint..



Craftsmen from Ruff Roofers work on re-installing one of the skylights on the Monument's base. From 1908, they replaced smaller ones that did not allow as much light into the building.



Stone is unforgiving. Craftsmen today continued re-assembling the south staircase. Every marble tread must be perfectly aligned in order for this enormous cheek wall to slide down on top of them.



With most of the repairs and repointing completed on the column of the Monument, it gets a gentle washing. The unusual stone on the right is one of several where minerals originally embedded in the marble now project from the surface. The projections are stable and are just part of the history of the stones.



A craftsmen today gently eases a broken piece of marble, in danger of falling off, from the facade of the Monument's base. Dozens of areas exhibit this level of damage. Iron "staples" originally used to stitch the top of the stones together have now rusted and expanded, causing these corners to pop. Each will be carefully reattached.



The stones on the column proper are in much better condition than those on the Monument's base. With most of the column repairs completed the design and restoration teams check out a few of the problem stones that do require more work.



They are really paying attention to every detail. As part of the restoration of Mount Vernon Place, the monument and its surround have been laser scanned. Millions of pixels are combined in this composite image (obtained from scanners on the ground !). "Red" is higher and "blue" lower. Note how the monument's base looks empty--the scanner couldn't "see" that. The scan will in part be used to make a topographical map of Mount Vernon Place in order to plot the utilities--all of which are in need of upgrades.



A craftsmen today applied a poultice on the marble beneath one of the bronze inscriptions. The goal is to gently remove some of the green staining from the marble, which comes from water dripping down from the bronze letters. The inscriptions highlight important events in Washington's life, including this one about when he became President in 1789.



For comparison with today's post regarding cleaning the bronze letters on the west side of the Monument. The same facade in the 1940s. Note all the staining below the letters



Craftsmen repair and repoint the cornice of the Monument's base. The bronze inscriptions will be restored when the stone work is completed.



A craftsmen from Worcester Eisenbrandt today continues waxing the bronze inscriptions. The heated wax is carefully applied with a brush. "GEORGE" has been done and "STATE" is underway



The bronze letters on the west side of the Monument were cleaned and waxed today to preserve them. The State of Maryland enabled the lottery that paid for the Monument. The bronze letters were likely unwaxed for a very long time, making the copper (green) staining very deep. The restoration team has tried several rounds of poultices on a test area to try to pull some of the green out of the marble. A commonly used method safe for the surrounding stone was not very effective, so it has been decided to leave it as is.


Last edited by CharmCity1; November 3rd, 2014 at 02:15 AM.
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 2nd, 2014, 10:49 PM   #6
Gsol
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 2,196
Likes (Received): 351

What is Geo. Wash. holding in his hand? Looks like an iPod. I wonder what tunes are on there.
Gsol no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2014, 12:18 AM   #7
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gsol View Post
What is Geo. Wash. holding in his hand? Looks like an iPod. I wonder what tunes are on there.
His resignation papers as Continental Army commander-in-chief after the Revolutionary War during a ceremony at the Maryland Statehouse in Annapolis 1783. The wire you might see is the wire from the lighting rod just behind George Washington's head and on the scroll. He had one since 1831 and has been struck many times.
__________________

PeterSmith, ChuckScraperMiami#1 liked this post

Last edited by CharmCity1; April 20th, 2015 at 03:52 AM.
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2014, 01:03 AM   #8
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

The scaffolding erected for the Washington Monument restoration has provided the unusual opportunity to see and touch the statue of George Washington up-close. The statue's face is usually only seen with telescopic lenses.

Did you know Washington had "beauty marks"?

He didn't in 1829 when lifted to the top of the Monument, but he does now ! The marble used for the statue is formed of various minerals, mostly a white dolomite that dissolves ever so slowly in water. Also found in the stone is a brown mineral, tremolite, that does not dissolve in water. Over time water has eroded about an 1/8 of an inch of the dolomite surface, leaving the tremolite particles projecting. But, over all, our conservators think Washington is in pretty good shape.

A craftsman at work today on small repairs to Washington's face. Minor losses are being filled with matching mortar to slow down erosion. Each one then gets shaped to match the surrounding material.




George gets a gentle washing with water to clean the surface of the statue.







Look at this same view of George's head before work started on him!



Governor O'malley





On level one of the statue scaffold, Direct Dimensions, Inc. uses a hand held 3-D scanner to capture the base of George's cloak and his boots.



Which then get rendered digitally on this computer...



one last informal pic of George before the scaffold team arrived to start breaking down this topmost platform.





Flux Studio Ltd. explores lighting concepts for the 228 steps inside the column. Original visitors went up through the darkness with a lantern, which must have been very dramatic as they reached the top and the view of the city unfolded in front of them.



View from top



Now with the scaffolding down work continues in the "subterranean vaults" the design team discuss the placement of new electrical infrastructure. The brick floor is up, and trenches dug through yards of sand.



The Board of Managers of the Washington Monument in 1834 purchased what they called a “Colossal Bust” for $50, which was copied after the original by Italian sculpture Giuseppe Ceracchi. The one thousand pound marble sculpture has been in the monument ever since. While all the restoration work is going on inside the bust of George Washington was moved inside The Walters Art Museum and remains on loan during construction for the next 13-16 months during the renovations to the monument. The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy plans to bring the sculpture back after completion of renovations on the Washington Monument.


Funny story on that as the first piece of gallery sculpture owned by the city of Baltimore was a bust of George Washington by Antonio Capellano. Capellano is known in Baltimore as the sculptor of "Lady Baltimore" for the Battle Monument which is the oldest stone monument in the country and first public war memorial. "Lady Baltimore," has stood on top of the Battle Monument since 1822 and been on the city seal since 1827. That means she appears throughout the city on government buildings, flags, vehicles, signs and police badges. Baltimore has the most public monuments than any other city per capita in the country.

In 1823, Capellano, then living in Charm City, was anxious to obtain the commission for the statue of George Washington planned for the Mount Vernon Place Monument. As an example of his work he presented the city with a marble likeness of America’s first president. He subsequently lost the commission to Italian artist Enrico Causici, but the gifted bust was kept and initially displayed in Rembrandt Peale’s Baltimore Museum. Now on display at the Maryland Historical Society.

Ceracchi bust of George Washington inside The Walters Art Museum during restoration.


Capellano bust of George Washington
__________________

Last edited by CharmCity1; April 21st, 2015 at 03:55 AM.
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2014, 01:47 AM   #9
jamie_hunt
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 4,752
Likes (Received): 985

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharmCity1 View Post
The location of the commemorative date stone discovered last week. ...
Coolest (series of) post(s) I've ever read on SSC. Thanks!
__________________

CharmCity1 liked this post
jamie_hunt no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2014, 01:49 AM   #10
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
Coolest (series of) post(s) I've ever read on SSC. Thanks!
Thanks Jamie!
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:10 AM   #11
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

JD Belfield Enterprises deserves to be commended for their fine work. Anyone in doubt should scroll down to see what used to pass for safe scaffolding as recently as the 1970s and ’80s.



It’s hard to imagine that this used to pass for safe scaffolding.


Washington Monument under repair, c. 1975-1985.

or this


Washington Monument under repair, c. 1975-1985.

All of the marble used on the monument was locally sourced. The base that the Washington statue sits on came from here:


Most of the marble came from General Charles Ridgely’s quarry in Hampton, but the 15 foot piece used to carve Washington came from Mrs. Taylor’s quarry.
Beaver Dam Quarry, c. 1910
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:51 AM   #12
Gsol
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 2,196
Likes (Received): 351

Great stuff Charm City. The face of GW doesn't quite look like portraits we're familiar with.
__________________

CharmCity1 liked this post
Gsol no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2014, 03:20 AM   #13
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

- dmca

Last edited by CharmCity1; April 20th, 2015 at 01:51 AM.
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2014, 03:44 AM   #14
Gsol
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 2,196
Likes (Received): 351

You mention the hair. In the Gilbert Stuart portrait (which I have seen many times in the American Wing at the Met Museum) GW wears a wig, like many of his contemporaries. Maybe Causici depicted GW's natural hair or a different wig.
Gsol no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2014, 09:23 AM   #15
micrip
Registered User
 
micrip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 4,322
Likes (Received): 1277

Great job, CharmCity. This is the kind of reporting we used to see in the Sunday Sun Magazine back in the day...I'm talking about the version that went away about 20 years ago, not the one we see from time to time now.
__________________
Baltimore...Propensity for Density

CharmCity1 liked this post
micrip no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2014, 11:03 AM   #16
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gsol View Post
You mention the hair. In the Gilbert Stuart portrait (which I have seen many times in the American Wing at the Met Museum) GW wears a wig, like many of his contemporaries. Maybe Causici depicted GW's natural hair or a different wig.
Yeah I think the hair is pretty accurate but I guess that is open to interpretation.

Thanks Micrip
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2014, 11:44 AM   #17
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gsol View Post
What is Geo. Wash. holding in his hand? Looks like an iPod. I wonder what tunes are on there.
Speaking of iPod the conservancy is supposed to be leaving its own 2015 time capsule. So there's a good possibility an iPod could be left inside there.
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 5th, 2014, 01:46 PM   #18
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

Electricians install power on the Monument's terrace level. Months of planning were involved in how to do this best. The 43rd annual Monument lighting in a month (Dec. 4th) will use this new power!















__________________

Last edited by CharmCity1; November 5th, 2014 at 01:51 PM.
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 5th, 2014, 06:05 PM   #19
PeterSmith
Moderator
 
PeterSmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Miami/Baltimore
Posts: 6,477
Likes (Received): 3407

I agree. This is one of the best photo threads I've encountered on SSC or anywhere for that matter. Great job.

I count myself fortunate to be able to walk past the Washington Monument everyday on my way home from work. I've enjoyed watching is get restored, and I'm enjoying it as the scaffolding comes down. It never gets old.
__________________

CharmCity1, ChuckScraperMiami#1 liked this post
PeterSmith no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 5th, 2014, 07:44 PM   #20
CharmCity1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 344
Likes (Received): 488

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterSmith View Post
I agree. This is one of the best photo threads I've encountered on SSC or anywhere for that matter. Great job.

I count myself fortunate to be able to walk past the Washington Monument everyday on my way home from work. I've enjoyed watching is get restored, and I'm enjoying it as the scaffolding comes down. It never gets old.
Thanks Pete
CharmCity1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 


Reply

Tags
architechture, maryland, redevelopment, revitalization, urban renewal

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT +2. The time now is 07:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us