The George Rogers Clark Memorial closed in August 2008 for a major restoration project. It reopened in late September 2009 and was rededicated on October 3, 2009. It is now back in full operation and is open daily from 9AM to 4:45PM EST. See press releases below to learn more about why the Memorial was closed and about the rededication ceremony that officially reopened it.
Major Restoration Project to Begin at George Rogers Clark Memorial
Vincennes, Ind. -- The National Park Service and George Rogers Clark National Historical Park are pleased to announce the awarding of a $3 million contract to Frontier Waterproofing of Denton, Texas, to rehabilitate the terrace and access steps of the Clark Memorial.
The Memorial Terrace, which has suffered from severe leakage since its construction in the early 1930s, will be dismantled and repaired. The terrace is the area of the monument extending outward from the columns to the parapet wall. The work will include installation of a new drainage system, waterproofing of the terrace surface, repair of the damaged concrete and steel, and recaulking of the exterior stone and steps. The monument rotunda (inside the columns) will not be impacted by this work.
Work is expected to begin in late July 2008 and will take at least 1 year to complete. During that time the monument will be closed to the public however, the visitor center and park grounds will remain open for visitor use. The park entrance fee, normally $3.00 for those over 17, will be waived during the period of restoration. Park staff will present periodic programs and temporary wayside exhibits will be erected to allow visitors to learn about the project as it proceeds. Special events hosted by the park such as the Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous and the Vincennes University Tube Race should not be impacted by this project.
Superintendent Dale Phillips stated, that “This is a once-in-a-lifetime restoration project, and is critically needed for the long-term preservation of the Clark Memorial.” Phillips added, “I’d like also to thank all the park’s many friends, partners, elected officials and NPS staff that have helped to bring this 10-year effort to a successful conclusion.”
Clark Memorial Rededication Ceremony Held
After a much needed face lift, the George Rogers Clark Memorial, in the National Historical Park of the same name, was rededicated. The 76 year old monument to "the frontiersmen of the American Revolution" had been leaking rainwater for 75 1/2 years. Frontier Waterproofing of Denton, Texas completed the work at a cost of over three million dollars. The Clark Memorial closed on August 9, 2008 and reopened September 24, 2009 after being closed for repairs. It took almost 14 months, but was well worth the wait as the basement is finally dry and five ton granite blocks are not sloughing away from each other like glaciers on the move.
The original dedication of the Clark Memorial took place in 1936 with President FDR speaking. The October 3, 2009 rededication was a cold, windy day along the Wabash. Superintendent Dale Phillips acted as host for the event, and speakers included the Mayor of Vincennes, Al Baldwin; representatives from the offices of Senators Richard Lugar and Evan Bayhs; Steve Adams, Associate Regional Director for the Midwest Region; and a representative from the Francis Vigo Chapter of the DAR. The keynote speaker was Ms. Gwynne Potts, who wrote George Rogers Clark: Military Leader in the Pioneer West and Locust Grove. Four graduates from this year’s Summer Junior Ranger Series led the Pledge of Allegiance during the ceremony.
Tours of the memorial basement were conducted throughout the day. There were photo displays to allow visitors to see the damage caused by years of leakage and the work completed during the recent renovations. The stalactites and stalagmites from so much rainwater and cement mixing were highlighted. There were more than thirty tours that allowed more than 400 visitors to see the results of this project.
This was a major event is park history, and Superintendent Dale Phillips would like to thank the park staff and volunteers who helped make it happen.
Last updated: April 10, 2015