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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.

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