Historic 1869 Fence Restoration
The 4,100 foot long iron fence with its large stone gate posts and massive iron gates is the most distinguishing feature of the park. Its spear point was chosen as the symbol of the neighborhood and the Lafayette Square Restoration Committee. The list of its problems is very long. There are many broken snd wobbly fence posts, all of the 15 foot long fence sections have broken or missing parts and weather has damaged the stone gate posts. The anchoring system for the posts has failed in many places. “Saving the Fence” will be the Conservancy’s major project for the next few years.
The Conservancy selected Robinson Iron of Alexander City, Alabama to undertake the test phase of the fence restoration project. Robinson Iron took six sections of the fence from the southeast corner of the park to their workshops where they were taken apart so patterns could be made to replace broken and missing parts. Donate to this project by clicking the button above.
UPDATE: The six sections were returned to St. Louis and installed by Empire Fence Co. in the fall, 2016. The base plates will be installed later.
When problems encountered in reassembling and installing the test sections have been resolved, the LPC will restore additional sections along Lafayette Avenue.
Revolutionary War Monument
Restoring the three guns raised from the wreckage of the HMS Acteon, a British Man of War sunk in Charleston Harbor, SC during an attempt to seize Charleston in June, 1776, has been project of the Conservancy since 2008.
The first gun was fitted to a new gun carriage made of Ipe wood, a long lasting wood from Central America, and placed on a brick and concrete platform built by the LPC.
UPDATE: The second gun was fitted to its new carriage and installed on the platform in November, 2016.
The third gun, a carronade, is at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory in Ft. Leonard, MD undergoing treatment to halt the corrosive effects of being submerged in seawater for 111 years. No date has been set for its return.
Grotto Bridge Handrail
The grotto bridge was built around 1900 by the Koken Iron Works. It replaced a rustic wooden bridge built over the Grotto in 1865. That bridge was blown away in the Great Cyclone of 1896 which devastated the park. In time, the Koken bridge became unstable. The bridge would shake to such an extent that some of us feared a large wedding party posing for photographs might collapse into the lake below. Delahanty Construction Services LLC stabilized the bridge in 2012 and Steve Coffey, AIA, was the architect for the project. The project entirely consumed a generous $75,000 grant awarded to the LPC by the Whitaker Foundation intended for pathway renewal. The original handrail would be too low and open to meet the standards set by the Americans With Disabilities Act. The LPC consulted Classic Metal Craft and they have designed a handrail which will satisfy the requirements of the Act and be elegant and appropriate for this bridge.
The LPC nominated this project along with perimeter sidewalk repair and pathway renewal to be funded by the sale of Park Bonds and the Parks Department agreed.
UPDATE: The handrail was installed with minor design changes this summer, 2016. Some minor adjustments remain to be completed but the project is substantially completed.