Historic monuments scheduled for maintenance

George Washington Sculpture in need of restoration. (Detail)



Funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust will help RACC restore three significant sculptures in Portland's public art collection

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has received a $5,000 Cultural Development Grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust to support general restoration of three key historic monuments in the City of Portland's public art collection: George Washington (located at NE Sandy & Alameda), Sacajawea and Jean-Baptiste (Washington Park) and Portlandia (Portland Building).

The grant will help underwrite primary conservation treatments for George Washington and Sacajawea and Jean-Baptiste, including:

  • removal of built-up oxidation on their bronze surfaces;
  • hot-wax treatment to control future oxidation;
  • cleaning of monuments bases and pedestals.

Portlandia—the second largest hammered copper sculpture in the U.S. behind only the Statue of Liberty—will receive a complete condition assessment along with an inspection of its internal steel frame and mounts to assess the accumulation of guano and other grime due to bird infestation.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust: Oregonians sustaining, developing and participating in our arts, heritage and humanities. Keith Lachowicz, RACC's public art collections manager, thanked the Trust for their support. “Caring for these large scale works requires a significant investment each year, and maintenance funds were never set aside for older monuments that were grandfathered into the collection,” he said. “This year’s conservation grant from the Trust will help ensure that more expensive treatments are not required in the future.”

RACC will work with Robert Krueger, Object Conservator & Proprietor of Cascadia Art Conservation Center, to perform the restorations. The total cost of the maintenance work is expected to be $12,337, and the restorations will be completed by April of 2013.

George Washington

The George Washington Monument in NE Portland. A grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust will help RACC restore areas where the elements worn away the statue’s protective wax coating. Photo: RACC.


Oxidation of Sacajawea’s bronze surface is beginning to take hold on the hand and face. Photo: RACC.


The last large scale cleaning of Portlandia was completed in 2006.