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Three of Gettysburg's Tallest Monuments to be Washed and Polished in June

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Date: May 14, 2012
Contact: Katie Lawhon, (717) 334-1124, ext. 3121

During the month of June, Gettysburg National Military Park's monument preservation staff will perform preservation maintenance on three of the tallest monuments on the civil war battlefield. Work on the New York State Memorial, the Vermont State Memorial, and the Pennsylvania State Memorial will require a 150 foot lift.

The Gettysburg Foundation is covering the cost of renting an aerial platform to accomplish the work, as part of its ongoing support of National Park Service education and preservation projects at Gettysburg.

When the lift arrives on about June 4, park staff will wash the New York State Memorial in the Soldiers' National Cemetery. The New York State Memorial, dedicated in 1893, is about 90 feet tall. Park staff repaired and cleaned the bronze figure of Excelsior at the top of the monument last summer. The aerial platform will allow staff to steam-clean the stonework on the entire monument, apply another coat of wax to the bronze and inspect last year's repairs.

On approximately June 6 the park monument crew will move to the Vermont State Memorial on Hancock Avenue. This approximately 55 foot tall monument, dedicated in 1893, will also be fully steam-cleaned and the bronze figure of General George Stannard will receive a coat of wax.

By approximately June 8 or 9, the park crew will move to the Pennsylvania Memorial for a longer project that begins with walnut-shell blasting and washing of the 7,500 pound bronze sculpture, the Goddess of Victory and Peace, at the top of the memorial to remove corrosion and grime. The goddess will then be waxed, and the crew will complete the work by steam cleaning the entire monument, waxing the lower figures, and waxing the interior rotunda bronze. The Pennsylvania Memorial is about 100 feet tall and was dedicated in 1910.

During the Pennsylvania Memorial work, the upper level observation deck may be closed to visitors for long periods of time. Temporary, partial closures of the first level and access to the bronze plaques will also be required during the project. Weather conditions may cause delays in the schedule. The work at the Pennsylvania Memorial will be completed by approximately June 28.

For more information about Gettysburg National Military Park go to www.nps.gov/gett. For tickets and reservations go to the Gettysburg Foundation web site at www.gettysburgfoundation.org.

 

Did You Know?

The Leister House in 1863. (Library of Congress)

The tiny home of widow Lydia Leister was used by Union General George G. Meade for his headquarters during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.