Monuments and Conservation
Conservation of Baltimore City’s Monuments, Memorials, & Sculpture
Baltimore, long known as the "Monumental City", was the first municipality in the United States to design a comprehensive program for the preservation of its outdoor monuments. The Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) designed the program and has coordinated this stewardship effort for more than three decades. (image to the right - "On the Trail” receives a special “hot-wax” treatment by S.A. T., Inc. This is a featured monument in the “Adopt-A-Monument” program. Edward Berge-Artist -1916. Located in Clifton Park);
CHAP stewardship of public monuments began in 1977 when Mayor Schaefer asked CHAP to prepare an inventory of all City-owned monuments and historic buildings. This document was to be used for monitoring the maintenance, condition and (in some cases) the operation of such sites. In 1980, five Mount Vernon Place bronzes by Antoine Louis Barye (War, Peace, Force, Order and Seated Lion) were determined to be priorities for treatment. Their aesthetic and historical importance, coupled with their apparently poor condition, warranted the City's immediate attention.
On September 27, 1980, a team of prominent metals conservators and consultants were invited to advise on the condition of these monuments. Their study was followed by a day long symposium to inform a diverse group of City officials, conservators, museum staff, artists and concerned citizens of the nature of the conservation problem and possible directions for treatment. (image to the left - The “Columbus Obelisk” is the oldest Columbus Monument in the nation. Donated by Chevalier d’Anmour in 1792. This treasure is maintained by volunteers of the Arcadia Improvement Association. (In cooperation with CHAP). Herring Run Park. Harford Road, Walther Avenue and Parkside Drive.)
In Spring of 1981, the first phase of the Baltimore Bronze Project began in the Mount Vernon Place Parks. The four park squares, and buildings surrounding the Washington Monument, are considered to be among the finest urban spaces in the nation, and the focal point of both a National Register and a Baltimore City Historic District. Conservator Steven Tatti was selected by the City to complete the conservation project. His expertise in developing the hot-wax treatment method and his background in monument conservation guided the selection.
During the next three decades, CHAP coordinated annual conservation of public monuments throughout the City. The regular care of these treasures is made possible through CHAP’s partnerships with monument “adopters”, volunteers, community groups, alumni and cultural organizations, foundations, educational institutions, governmental partners at all levels, and many caring individuals. See “CHAP’s Monument Program” report for further details.
(image to the right - The “Lizette Woodworth Reese Memorial” (Good Shepherd) returned home to the former Eastern High School Campus in June 2009. Grace Turnbull-Artist-1939 Located at the 33rd Street campus of Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Reinstallation, restoration and rededication made possible by contribution of the Eastern High School Alumni Association , in partnership with the Honorable Mary Pat Clarke, JHU and CHAP.Image courtesy Tiffany Conner Lafferty.)
For additional information contact CHAP stafff at (410) 396-4866.