Henry Ward Beecher Monument Receives Second Treatment
An update on MAS Adopt-A-Monument program
The Henry Ward Beecher monument, located in Columbus Park in Downtown Brooklyn, was a featured monument in our Monument of the Month series. It had been previously restored under the Adopt-A-Monument program in 1989 but merited a new treatment. Cameron Wilson and Jackie Wilson of Wilson Conservation restored the monument, magnificently, back in 2017 and on September 10, 2019, Cameron and his crew once again cleaned the sculpture with water and a neutral PH detergent using soft brushes to remove dirt and biological growth. Small repairs were made and the figures were waxed with a clear microcrystalline paste wax and hand buffed with soft cloths.
We are grateful to the generosity of the Paul and Klara Porzelt Foundation for making the restoration possible and for providing critical funds for this annual maintenance. Continue reading for photos of the treatment and background on this remarkable work of public art.
About Henry Ward Beecher
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) was an advocate of women’s suffrage, an agitator for the abolitionist movement, a staunch supporter of Abraham Lincoln, Senior Minister of Brooklyn’s Plymouth Church (Congregational) for forty years, and, overcoming a childhood fear of public speaking, became one of this country’s most celebrated and accomplished preachers. Beecher’s father was the prominent Presbyterian minister, Lyman Beecher, and among his ten siblings was Harriet Beecher Stowe. Social reform was at the heart of the Beecher family. The Independent, of which Beecher was contributing editor, took strong anti-slavery and women’s suffrage stances. In addition, Beecher’s popularity and ministry at Plymouth Church contributed much to Brooklyn’s growth, and his sermons and writings served as a barometer of social change in the second half of the nineteenth century. Plymouth Church continues as a vibrant, worshipping community committed to anti-human trafficking efforts.