Published in the September 3, 2015 edition.
By MARK SARDELLA
WAKEFIELD — The Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Veterans Memorial Common has sustained a lot of damage through its 113 years as a memorial to Wakefield’s Civil War fighters.
Wakefield Veterans Service Agent Alicia Reddin has sought and received an estimate form The Granite Corporation of Barre, Vt. that the work will cost $546,500 and take 8 to 12 months to restore the monument.
The estimate described the condition of the monument and the work that will need to be done. The original jointing material has failed, allowing water, dust and dirt to wash into the joints between the granite pieces. The accumulated material holds moisture and has allowed small plants to grow within these spaces. The freeze and thaw cycles over many years have slowly caused the lower multi-piece granite courses to separate from each other.
The sculptures of the soldiers are also damaged and show evidence of past repair, according to the estimate. One sculpture is in such bad shape that it may need to be replaced. The existing condition of the monument is not an immediate safety concern, the company says but, left unattended, the situation will worsen and cause failure to the foundation until it becomes unstable.
The best way to restore the monument, according to the company, would be to dismantle its sections and truck them to the company’s facility in Vermont.
No decisions have been made as to what will be done about the monument.