By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,637)
The public is invited to watch as the classically designed fountain in Lincoln Park is removed for its complete restoration on Tuesday morning, November 29, 2016 at the Park. The restoration will be done by Jonathan Taggart, Sculptor Conservator, in Georgetown over the winter according to a press release issued by Frank E. Reilly, co-founder, with his wife, Sharon, of Friends of Lincoln Park, a non-profit.
This is the first phase in the complete restoration of Lincoln Park, one of Portland’s oldest landmarks according to the west end couple who have taken this major project upon themselves. They were recently awarded a 2016 preservation award by Greater Portland Landmarks for their skills and dedication to this restoration.
The Park was built in 1866 as a firewall for the east end – just eight days after the fire of 1866. The city purchased the land for $80,000. The fountain was cast in Paris, France in 1870 and then put on board a steamer for Portland. It was mounted in Portland’s first public park, Lincoln Park, at the base of Munjoy Hill, in 1871.
Because of urban renewal, the size of Lincoln Park was reduced by l/4 – l/3 of its original size in the 1970s. Many sad stories of the displacement of a close-knit community have become part of the public record in recent years. Franklin Arterial was built to accommodate traffic between the highway and the commercial section of Portland. Several years ago the Arterial was renamed Franklin Street to suggest a more neighborhood friendly route.
Taggart, shown in the above right photo, has restored many monuments in the City of Portland. Most recently, he restored the “Our Lady” statute in Monument Square as well as cannons etc. for the Eastern Promenade restoration.
As part of the restoration to be continued in the spring, pathways will be reworked to duplicate the original ones and the basin and plumbing will be relined and replaced. However to accomplish this work, the Friends of Lincoln Park needs to raise $80,000. And it needs to happen by April 2017. So, if you can assist in this preservation effort or have questions, please contact the “Chief Spear Carriers” – Sharon and Frank E. Reilly at: firstname.lastname@example.org Please visit the webpage – LoveLincolnPark.org – for more information as well.