Fall Tour of the Memorial Parkway - Sept. 30, 2017
Do you know why there's a replica of the Statue of Liberty on the Memorial Parkway? Or why pet lovers who lived in Utica during the early 20th-Century especially adored the Swan Fountain? And how did that huge boulder become the pedestal for the Spanish-American War monument?
To find out answers to these questions and more, Join the CNY Conservancy for a walking tour of the Memorial Parkway on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Come and see the newly restored Statue of Liberty and Swan Fountain. Take photos of the mum plantings at each site visited. Enjoy the camaraderie of fellow park-lovers and Utica history aficionados.
The half-mile tour begins at 1 p.m. The group will assemble at 1641 Genesee Street, the CNY Conservancy office. Limited parking is available and car pooling is strongly encouraged. The tour will occur rain or shine and the event is free (donations are gratefully accepted). A raffle will be conducted among all tour-goers and 3 winners will receive one of the following prizes: a 6-ft. Colorado Blue Spruce (including delivery and planting); four hours of fall cleanup; a large, potted mum.
Hamilton College Prof. Emeritus and former President of the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica Rand Carter will come along for the tour and offer stories and anecdotes about the monuments.
Hope you will participate in what promises to be an eventful afternoon, filled with surprising stories and beautiful landscape design.An update to the CNY Conservancy's Sept. 30 walking tour of the Memorial Parkway event. We will be joined by the Landmarks Society as a co-host for the event. Local architect, Mike Lehman, will accompany the tour, along with Prof. Emeritus Rand Carter. Lehman is a knowledgeable resource about Olmsted's plans for Parkway development.He also knows a great deal about city planning and the development of the Olmsted Bros. firm. This will be an outstanding opportunity to learn about the Parkway, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., the monuments, and the Conservancy.
Newly restored Statue of Liberty and Swan Fountain have returned to the Parkway
Two newly restored monuments - a replica of the Statue of Liberty and the Swan Fountain - have returned to the Memorial Parkway ahead of schedule!
Both monuments had all restoration completed well before th July 1 scheduled deadline and both are now on view on the Memorial Parkway. The gardens surrounding each monument have been replanted as well.
"The change in the Statue of Liberty is very dramatic," said Peter C. Falzarine, executive director for the Central New York Conservancy. "She is painted to look just like the oriignal monument in NY Harbor."
The restoration to the Swan Fountain is more than meets the eye. Its plumbing has been restored and the fountain fully functions. "Some of the pipes inside the fountain were wooden," noted Falzarine. "All new plumbing has enabled us to see the fountain as it was meant to be seen, with all the fantasy figures spouting water."
Restoration of both monuments was completed by Michael Mancini of MHM, Inc., of St. Johnsville.
Memorial Parkway Statue of Liberty and Swan Fountain Undergoing Restoration
If you're driving on the Memorial Parkway after May 8, you will notice that one of its famous inhabitatnts is missing!
The Statue of Liberty replica has reigned on her corner of the Parkway near Elm Street since 1950. She has been removed and will undergo a 2-month restoration that has been a long time in the making.
Another Parkway monumnet, the Swan Fountain, will also undergo restoration and receive a plumbing overhaul that will allow it to function as a working fountain once again. The bronze fountain was restored in 2004, thanks to a partnership among the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica, the Oneida County History Center, and MWPAI, with major support from the friends and family of William F. Locke (founder and president of the Central New York Conservancy), The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc., ConMed Corporation, and the City of Utica.
"The Swan Fountain and the Statue of Liberty are major attractions on the Parkway," said Peter C. Falzarine, the Conservancy's executive director. "Utica's Statue of Liberty is one of 200 presented to cities across the US by the Boy Scouts," said Falzarine, "and, after 67 years, she needs lots of refurbishing and TLC."
The Swan Fountain was designed nd sculpted by Frederick William MacMonnies, who also created the bronze figures that adorn the archway in Grand Army Plaze, which is the entrance to Prospect Park in Brooklyn (the Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux). The Swan Fountain was commissioned by the widow of Robert Swan, a Utica attorney who died in 1906.
Though Utica's Liberty replica is significantly smaller than her NY Harbor counterpart - she is only 6 feet tall and is made of zinc or galvanized aluminum that has been painted - she has a big reputation on the Parkway. She was originally presented to the City of Utica by the Boy Scouts of America as a "pledge of everlasting fidelity and loyalty," according to the plaque at the statue's base.
"Liberty shows lots of wear and tear," said Falzarine. "Her painted surface is weather-beaten and corroded. Her concrete base has chips, cracks and breaks and is discolored. The dedication plaques need restoration as well." Repairs to the Statue of Liberty are estimate at $9,950.
Once repairs are complete to both the statue and base, Miss Liberty will be returned to her spot on the Parkway in time for the Boilermaker Road Race. Miss Liberty will have the same finish as her "big sister" in NY City - an unmistakeable shade of green long identified with the Statue of Liberty.
"The restoration work on the Swan Fountain will be less noticeable, but no less important," said Falzarine. The bronze-and-granite fountain and base will receive all new underground plumbing. Granite sections of the monument will be sealed to prevent future leaks. "Once the work is done, the Swan Fountain will function as originally intended," noted Falzarine.
The cost for replacing the plumbing and sealing the fountain to remove leaks is estimated at $11,750.
Restoration of both the Statue of Liberty and the Swan Fountain will be done by Michael H. Mancini, owner of MHM, Inc., of St. Johnsville.
Memorial Parkway, Utica - begins at the corner of Genesee Street & Burrstone Road
The Memorial Parkway is the green connection among all three of Utica's parks. It begins as a 4-mile boulevard and then curves northward. The three parks have their entrances on the Parkway: first, Roscoe Conkling/Valley View, then T.R. Proctor Park, and finally, F.T. Proctor Park. The Parkway ends at Sherman Drive. The entire Parkway encompasses 5 miles and 60 acres.
The Memorial Parkway is home to 14 monuments that recognize famous Uticans, wars in which Utica citizens fought and died, or service organizations of importance to the City. Several other monuments pay tribute to historic figures. Each monument is surrounded and set off by landscaped beds of annuals and perennials, whose colors change each season, along with shrubs and trees.