Please join us as we commemorate the restoration of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the Duluth Civic Center Historic District.
Friday, July 29, 2016
Outside City Hall – 411 W First Street Duluth, Minn. 55802
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, located in the Duluth Civic Center Historic District has been restored over the past few weeks by the Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps in conjunction with Robert Jensen of Jensen Conservation Service, Inc. A press conference and public commemoration is to be held at the site of the Monument on Friday, July 29th, 2016 at 11:00am. Duluth Mayor Emily Larson will give a short address, along with Senator Roger Reinert, Representative Mary Murphy, Chair of the Duluth Public Arts Commission, Mary Mathews, and Darryl Sannes of the Minnesota Civil War Commemorative Task Force (2011-2015). Members of the press and public are invited to attend.
Restoration of the Monument has been made possible by a grant from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, appropriated by the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) Heritage Recognition Grants Program in collaboration with the Governor’s Civil War Commemorative Task Force. This particular funding was designated to support projects in commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War and Minnesota’s involvement. Restoration would not have been possible without the support of the City of Duluth and the Duluth Public Arts Commission.
About the Soldiers & Sailors Monument
Nearly 55 years after the American Civil War came to a close, members of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) in Duluth, Minn., worked with the St. Louis County to make provisions for a monument to be erected in front of the newly constructed, million-dollar Courthouse. Completed in 1919, The Soldiers and Sailors Monument was designed by Architect Cass Gilbert, renowned for his design of the St. Paul Capitol Building, the U.S. Supreme Court Building and the Woolworth Building, which stood as the world’s tallest building for over a decade. The Ortonville granite base, built by the Hunter Granite Works of Ortonville, Minn., was polished and engraved with approximately 5,000 letters, identifying those who served in American conflicts from St. Louis County, including the American Civil War. An elaborate bronze socket shaft and sixty-foot flag staff sits atop the granite, a bronze eagle at each of the four corners. The first verse of the Star Spangled banner is carved in raised letters near the top of the die. A stone knight sits guarding the flag at the base of the monument proper, the creation of sculptor Paul Wayland Bartlett, responsible for the figures of Columbus and Michelangelo commissioned for the Library of Congress and the pediment for the House wing of the U.S. Capitol. The Monument was dedicated on Memorial Day, May 30, 1919, where it has since stood in memorandum to those who served. In 1986, the Monument was placed on the National Register of Historic Places (#86003097), by the National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior, as a contributing property to the Duluth Civic Center Historic District.
About Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps
Northern Bedrock was established in 2011 to integrate historic preservation services into the proven conservation corps service model established by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration (WPA). Northern Bedrock is focused on providing skill development opportunities specific to historic preservation. This season, Northern Bedrock is working with eight young adults form Minnesota and Wisconsin for five months, spanning the summer and fall. The crews work across the state of Minnesota on a variety of historic sites, including structures, monuments and landscapes. Northern Bedrock completed the restoration of the Monument under the instruction and guidance of a conservator, providing the corpsmembers with a rare opportunity to learn bronze and stone restoration.
Northern Bedrock is made possible in part by the Arts and Cultural History Fund through the vote of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Early photo of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in front of the St. Louis County Courthouse, in the developing Duluth Civic Center. The New York Public Library, Digital Collection has dated the photograph to 1860 -1920. As the monument was not completed, until 1919, it is likely the photography was taken at the time of completion, or within a few short years of that date. Monument was dedication May 30, 1919.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs:
Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1860 – 1920).
The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Duluth, Minnesota Retrieved from
Building a Pathway to the Preservation Trades
Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps' mission is to develop lifelong workforce skills by connecting young people to the earth, cultures, and traditions through historic preservation work and outdoor service.