This morning, city Parks Department crews and expert representatives from the private sector began the final phase of repairs to the Denmark Vesey statue, during which the statue was detached from its base to allow the existing frame to be removed for replacement.
The restoration project began after the statue’s engraved, front-facing granite slab was vandalized in May 2021. At that time, a local contractor volunteered to replace the engraved front facing granite slab free of charge.
When removing the damaged granite and conducting their initial assessment, the contractor found extensive water infiltration, which was causing the interior of the statue’s existing steel frame to rust and become unstable. Further, they noted that the capstone had become deformed due to inadequate internal support.
Based on the new findings of degradation, a new frame will be fabricated from stainless steel to prevent rusting. The new frame will also feature improved center supports, as well as a new concrete base that will raise the interior elevation of the monument to eliminate any future ponding.
Once that work is complete, crews will install the improved frame, face stone and capstones, replace the brick base trim, and return the statue to its base.
City of Charleston Parks Director Jason Kronsberg said, “The work and generosity displayed by the community throughout this process has been nothing short of remarkable. I look forward to completing this final phase of this work, and am confident that our citizens will be pleased with the outcome.”