Thursday, July 15, 2021

Restoration of the Lincoln Statue

Pictured: The 1988 Lincoln Statue Restoration Project      

    Restoration has begun on the Lincoln Statue after delays last year due to COVID-19.  The company hired to do the restoration is Russell-Marti Conservation, Inc. from California, Mo.

    The last conservation treatment was in 1998.  At that time, the statue was cleaned of corrosion with glass beads, and then given a hot chemical patina, followed by successive applications of protective coatings. 

Pictured: Lincoln Statue Prior to the 1998 Restoration

    General treatment step this time will be:

1.)  Remove all loose, deteriorated coatings from the surface by cleaning with CO2 (carbon dioxide, or dry ice) blasting.  The CO2 cleaning method was used as part of recent conservation/maintenance treatments in St. Louis, including the Apotheosis of St. Louis (in front of the St. Louis Art Museum), the Meeting of the Waters (at Aloe Plaza, across from Union Station) and on sculptures at the St. Louis Art Museum.

2.)  Wash the bronze, using water and non-ionic surfactant, rinse and dry.

3.)  Apply a clear lacquer by spray, building up the coating in successive thin applications.

4.)  Apply a toning layer to adjust the patina as necessary

5.)  Apply a final clear lacquer.

    While conservation treatment will stabilize the sculpture and bring it to an appropriate and well cared for appearance, routing annual maintenance is important to preserve the effect of the treatment over the long term.

    The Lincoln Statue was donated to the City of Bunker Hill in 1904 by Capt. Charles Clinton.  Most of the men in Capt. Clinton's Civil War Unit were men from Bunker Hill.  He had such high regard for these men that he decided to donate a statue of Lincoln identical to the one which he donated to his hometown of Cincinnati, OH.  There are two other statues in Iowa, but they do not have the Lady Liberty.  These statues were donated by other individuals.  All of the statues were sculpted by William Granville Hastings.

Further information about the History of our Lincoln Statue can be found on our blog posting at

Pictured: The 1988 Lincoln Statue Restoration Project

Pictured: The 1988 Lincoln Statue Restoration Project

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette News, July 15, 2021.  

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