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APTNE Virtual Event: Restoring a Boston Treasure
Thursday, June 17, 2021, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM EDT
Category: APT Chapter Event

Restoring a Boston Treasure
Comprehensive Restoration of the Robert Gould Shaw & Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial

Virtual Event

Thursday, June 17, 2021
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM ET


Please join us for a unique presentation highlighting multiple facets of this restoration project! Considered one of the preeminent works of public art in the country, the Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial in Boston, MA, honors the eponymous colonel and Civil War regiment, one of the first Black regiments to serve in that war. Originally completed in 1897, the Memorial consists of a bronze relief by renowned artist, Augustus Sainte-Gaudens, set in a stone surround, much of which is carved with ornamentation, inscriptions, and the names of those who served. The brick-paved plaza in front of the Memorial allows room for public viewing and contemplation. Located in the Boston Common across from the Massachusetts State House, the Memorial holds a distinguished place in Boston’s public realm.

This joint presentation will spotlight the history of the Shaw Memorial and the design and construction phases of work. Beginning in 2014, a series of site investigations of deteriorated stone led to what ultimately became the scope of work for the restoration completed in 2021. The project was conducted under a partnership between the National Park Service, the Friends of the Public Garden, the City of Boston, and the Museum of African American History. The bronze relief was removed from the monument and fully restored off-site. The stone plinth was disassembled, and individual stones were cleaned, repaired, and reinstalled. An iterative cleaning regimen was developed to address the various compositions and intensities of stains on the stone. A new stainless steel frame was installed between the bronze relief and the rear stone to carry contemporary code-mandated seismic loading, including coordinating the connections to bronze and stone based on geometry and materiality of those elements. In addition, a corrosion protection scheme for the existing plaza steel incorporated a combination of an impressed current cathodic protection system, manual protection of exposed steel, and a new waterproofing system installed on top of the plaza.

 Event Leaders: Ben Rosenberg, Robert Mulcahy, and Barbara Mangum

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Additional Details & Logistics


Members & Students*: Complimentary
Non-member students are complimentary provided that you register with a valid university email address.

Continuing Education: 1.0 AIA LU

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