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Rededication set for courthouse memorial and monument

by on November 08, 2018 9:09 AM

BELLEFONTE — The refurbishment of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial and Andrew Gregg Curtin Monument that have stood in front of the Centre County Courthouse since 1916 is now complete, and a rededication of the memorial will be held after Veterans Day ceremonies at the courthouse at 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11.

More than 100 years old, the memorial stands to remind all those who pass by of the sacrifices of the many local men and women who served in the U.S. military, with its inscription reading, “To those who died to keep the nation whole, this memorial is dedicated in grateful appreciation.”

“This project was undertaken as a conservation project to preserve the granite and bronze elements and the design integrity of the memorial and monument,” said project manager Sue Hannigan. “It has been a two-year process, with work completed during good weather in 2017 and 2018.  Work tasks included cleaning the granite and the removal of blistered granite surfaces in an effort to stop further deterioration of the granite, re-cutting of the inscription due to a loss of stone as a result of blistering, and detailing the bronze plaques and sculptures to replace the loss of patina.”

The approximately $120,000 project was helped along by a $49,475 Keystone Historic Preservation grant from the state, while the remaining cost was covered by Centre County government. 

“Beyond the refinishing and sealing of the bronze, there is a correction of the granite spalling and sealing of the monument stone. General repairs and restoration are also included in the scope of work. The contractor has also provided a maintenance plan for the preservation of the monument in its entirety going forward,” said Centre County Commissioner Steven Dershem.

According to the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association, both the Soldiers and Sailors War Memorial and the Andrew Gregg Curtin statue were dedicated in 1906. The memorial was designed by Joseph M. Huston, the same person who designed the capitol in Harrisburg.

Curtin was born in Bellefonte and was the governor of Pennsylvania during the Civil War. He went on to be a congressman from 1881 to 1887 and also was an ambassador to Russia.

“This monument, as you know, is a fixture in downtown Bellefonte and represents the service and sacrifice of many of our ancestors." said Dershem. "The continued professional preservation of this local treasure is a priority not only to the county commissioners, but to the Borough of Bellefonte and all county government, as well. We also very much appreciate the state’s continued role in helping the citizens of Centre County to preserve its heritage and honor its heroes.”

 

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