(Above) A statue of Alexander Hamilton is re-installed in Lincoln Park on June 8. Photo by James Matusik. (Click on image to view larger version.)
24-Jun-17 Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is once again atop his pedestal in Lincoln Park.
The 13-foot-tall bronze statue by John Angel of the first United States Secretary of the Treasury has spent the past two years undergoing a meticulous cleaning of its bronze surface and a reapplication of gold leaf to give it a golden shine.
When it was returned on the morning of June 8, the statue was positioned to face north, as it did when first installed in 1952, but in recent years the statue has faced south, toward Lincoln Parks North Pond. The statue was turned around in 1993 to give Hamiltons face more exposure to the sun.
The decision to have Hamilton face north again was met with mixed reviews.
It would be great if they could one day encourage the restoration of the black granite obelisk behind the statue, says Ward Miller, executive director of the nonprofit Preservation Chicago, who approves of the repositioning. That contrast of the gilded statue, against the black obelisk, was a grand gateway into Lincoln Park from Sheridan and Diversey.
Dr. Andrezej Dajnowski (left), owner of The Conservation of Sculpture & Objects Studio, Inc., the Forest Park company that cleaned and re-gilded the statue, is disappointed, he says, because Hamiltons name on the statues red granite pedestal is now below his backside, not in front.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer.
Ken Bommer, who lobbied to keep Hamilton facing south, says the statue can be better viewed by pedestrians on the south side.
There is not much land on the north side of the statue, he points out. Also, up and down Lakeview Avenue, you have a number of high-rises that face the statue. Looking north, there is only one. Its ludicrous that they did this.