Earlier today, Gettysburg National Military Park’s monument preservation staff started a cleaning and washing project on the Pennsylvania State Memorial, the largest monument on the Gettysburg battlefield. The work requires a 150 foot lift and the Gettysburg Foundation is covering the cost of renting the lift, as part of its ongoing support of National Park Service education and preservation projects at Gettysburg.
Work at the Pennsylvania Memorial 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.
According to Frederick Hawthorne’s “Gettysburg: Stories of Men and Monuments,” The 7,500-pound sculpture of the Goddess of Victory and Peace was cast from bronze made available by melting down Civil War cannon.
The Pennsylvania Memorial is about 100 feet tall and was dedicated in 1910.
During the 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 29.
The lift arrived late last week and the crew has already completed washing of the New York State Memorial, the Vermont State Memorial and the United States Regulars Monument.
Special thanks to Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Bob Kirby for these photos which he took during his early morning inspection of the job.
By Katie Lawhon, Management Assistant, June 14, 2012