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Contact: Blanca Alvarez Stransky, 419 285-2184
Perry's Victory Memorial will re-open after being closed for nearly three years for extensive restoration on July 20, if repairs to the column can be completed without weather delays, said Superintendent Blanca Alvarez Stransky today."Originally, we anticipated opening by the July 4th weekend and we were planning a celebration marking this momentous occasion. Unfortunately, our spring weather has not cooperated and the remaining repair work on the outside of the column cannot be performed safely under high winds and rainy conditions," added Stransky.
The Memorial was closed in 2009 because of repairs to the observation deck and the historic elevator. Restoration of the observation deck on the top of the 352-foot Doric column and the 1932 Otis elevator, that transports approximately 150,000 visitors to the observation deck every year, was restored using American Recovery Reinvestment funding. Those repairs were completed in November last year.
"Thanks to a number of talented individuals, we have repaired the freeze/thaw damage that has occurred over the years to the observation deck due to poor drainage. Those repairs were completed in the fall of last year." Stransky explained.
According to Stransky, starting next week and into mid-July, engineers will work hand in hand with stone masons to pin in place or remove the "shards" or pieces of granite that are loose on the column.The workers will hang off the sides of the column on swing stages and examine each column deficiency one by one.It will be very labor intensive work requiring great care and precision.
Even though the Memorial is scheduled to reopen in mid-July, restoration of the Memorial is not complete.The granite pavers and limited waterproofing repairs on the upper plaza are also scheduled to begin later this summer. However, the park will work with the construction contractor to maintain access to the Memorial during the temporary repairs to the upper plaza.
"We sincerely apologize for the lengthy but necessary closure because it has significantly impacted park visitors and the local community of Put-in-Bay.When the Memorial re-opens later this summer, thousands of visitors will cheer right along with us because it will be a marvelous day.My staff and I are proud to be in entrusted by the American public with the protection and preservation of this national treasure.It is truly a humbling responsibility," said Stransky.
For more information about the Memorial restoration project please contact Superintendent Stransky at (419)285-2184 or visit www.nps.gov/pevi.We are also on FaceBook and Twitter.