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RESTORATION WORK


   

 Joe Price with replacement headstones for his ancestors Joe & Levi Price.



Recent project work on the Johnson Mausoleum.



We are working hard to make extensive structural and cosmetic repairs to the Johnson Mausoleum. including replacement of the front columns, grinding out and re tuck-pointing all stone to stone joints, cleaning the limestone, repairing the heavily damaged white marble doors, and finally treating all the deteriorating and delaminating stonework with a consolidant. The heirs are so thankful and inspired, they are exploring the possibility of purchasing and installing an iron fence for the perimeter of the family plot as there is good evidence that one existed there in the past.



This is one of the many stone curbs we are resetting.  Many of the family plots are bordered by either a cut limestone or poured concrete curbing which in some plots acts additionally as a retaining wall to level out the grave sites. Almost all of this curbing is in some state of disrepair and we are re-pouring and replacing large sections of it as we work through the site. This can involve not just a lot of digging, but also frequently, stump removal where volunteer trees have pushed, broken, and otherwise disrupted the border sections.



At this writing, there is still a crew of 4-6 people working to remove some of the darkest stained marble monuments, and also to go through with a color-matched mortar and "point" areas of loose and delaminating stone. This work is an important final step in conserving our many tablet-style markers as it is in these areas of cracked and delaminating material that we have our greatest problems of water infiltration and accelerated decay.

 

There is a crew of 3 working on all three faces of the 2000' or so of stone wall that runs down 4th and oak streets. They are removing and replacing all loose masonry joints and are resetting all loose stones.  It's a big job. The wall cleaned up very nicely, but it also highlighted how much attention it required to maintain its shape and stability.

The work being done to reclaim our previously encroached property on the west border

Finally, we are concentrating on reclaiming our previously encroached property on the west side of the cemetery. The offending loading dock and blacktop paving have both been removed, the misplaced but historic in its own right chain-link fence has been removed, and our new pressed-face poured concrete retaining wall is going in truck load by truck load. When the wall is finished and back-filled, a new steel security fence, similar to the RR border fence but 6' tall, will be installed along the newly redefined property line.
In summary, there are still some major item on the list (paving, lighting, reworking of the two buildings, interpretive signage program), but we have accomplished a HUGE amount from this past summer and through the winter, and the resulting work has been of the HIGHEST quality. It's really been a job the City and involved Craftsmen can be VERY proud of.

Fred Zahn
Metro Historical Commission
City Cemetery Restoration Supervisor
March 26, 2008

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