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2010 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award Recipients

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Commission, the Cuyahoga County Architect, and Westlake Reed Leskosky for the rehabilitation of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument In 1894, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument was designed as a volunteer effort by Cleveland architect and sculptor Levi Scofield. It is an extraordinary assembly of sculpture and public art representing the pinnacle of late Victorian style in America. On the exterior, it realistically depicts the ferocity of war while on the inside it conveys repose, tranquility and reverence for the memory of the 9,000 Civil War veterans named on its walls.

The Monument Commission assembled a project management team of specialty consultants and crafts and trades people who would exercise careful judgment in all aspects of the work. The rehabilitation culminated in a preservation tour de force that has restored the beauty of this historic landmark and renewed public respect for the Monument and the history it signifies.

Paramount in this project was the restoration and rehabilitation of the Monument's interior. What began as a modest cleaning evolved into an extensive restoration of the previously decorated marble utilizing the largely neglected arts of marble decorating, faux finishes and veining to restore the marble to it original appearance. Extreme temperature fluctuations inside the monument over time had caused the marble to actually bend. Since re-bending was not feasible, the solution employed, in addition to improvements in heating and cooling was to replace the hard mortar between the 4-by 8-foot tablets with soft grout to permit freer expansion and contraction.

Another important component of the interior work was the restoration of 14 Tiffany-style stained glass windows. The windows above the two entry doors depict sunrise and sunset while the remaining 12 portray military regalia and imagery for each branch of service that correspond to the bronze groupings on the exterior. These opalescent windows were disassembled, repaired and carefully cleaned. Cast glass jewels that had failed were replaced with hand-fabricated new glass made especially for this project. New interior lighting was designed to enhance the freshly tinted and re-inked lettering of the marble tablets and new exterior lights provide illumination to enhance the Monument. On the exterior, repairs were made to the deteriorated structural steel, leaking exterior down spouts, and a failing sandstone roof. Finally, in the north relief, Venus Bronze Works replaced the missing shackles in the right hand of President Abraham Lincoln after a decades-long absence.

Funding for this $2 million-dollar project came from two federal Save Americas Treasures grants, state funding through the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission and numerous gifts and grants from foundations, businesses, the City of Cleveland, Civil War and veterans groups, and individuals.

Public Square and the surrounding area have historically been of prime importance to the City of Cleveland and the citizens of Northeast Ohio. Today, the Monument, in all its new glory, is strategically situated among some of the area's most vibrant developments.

2010 Awards 
Presentation Image. Click to view slides of the awards presentation.

Click here to return to the list of 2010 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.

Click here for a list of past Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.

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