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Civil War monument to get face-lift

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The city has received a $150,000 state grant to restore the historic Soldiers and Sailors monument on Public Square.
City officials learned last week that the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation awarded the funding for the $200,000 project to restore and clean the nearly 120-year-old, 50-foot-tall monument that honors Civil War veterans.
The city will be expected to pay for the remaining $50,000 for the work, but that could be taken care of by community fundraising efforts, said City Planner Michael A. Lumbis.
The project, the final component of the $7 million Public Square restoration completed in 2008, was prompted after Washington, D.C., consulting firm Conservation Solutions Inc. completed an assessment of the monument last year and determined that it needed some repair work to “slow down some corrosion and restore it to its original beauty,” Mr. Lumbis said.
The work includes repairing the foundation's mortar joints and removing accumulated moss, dirt and stains that mar the monument's appearance, he said. Water, remnants of minerals and some rust run down the monument, causing discoloration and stains.
The surfaces of the soldier and sailor bronze figures have sustained corrosion over the years and have turned a turquoise color but will be restored to their original blackish green. The granite stonework also shows signs of atmospheric and biological soiling in several areas, Mr. Lumbis said.
The monument was erected after city residents Mr. and Mrs. George Cook donated $10,000 and a fundraising campaign was conducted in 1889. It was designed by American sculptor Henry Augustus Lukeman and architect Edward Pearce Casey.
In 2003, the community organized a fundraising campaign to restore the Gov. Roswell P. Flower monument, a short distance from where the Civil War monument stands.
Stressing that the city went through a “very competitive” application process, City Manager Mary M. Corriveau said the Parks Department awarded $13.4 million in projects out of $61 million in applications turned in from across the state last summer.
Soldiers and Sailors...

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