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Soldiers and Sailors Monument

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1899, Edward Gallagher Jr.; Bartholomew F. X. Donovan and Henry F. Flascharet, sculptors. Center Square, 7th and Hamilton sts.

Eight thousand people gathered in Center Square for the dedication of the monument to Civil War and Spanish-American War dead. A 78-foot-high shaft of Vermont granite topped by a 21-foot-tall Goddess of Liberty, the monument features four life-sized figures of soldiers around its base. Although controversial, the figure facing east is a Confederate army soldier, which was a gesture of respect for a much-admired local Lutheran pastor who was a Confederate veteran; it is the only such figure on a memorial north of the Mason-Dixon Line. This was not the only controversy. In 1916, repairs to deteriorating sculptural details revealed that the figures were not made of bronze, as required, but an alloy of tin, iron, copper, and zinc. Whether or not the city had been swindled in the initial $43,000 price hinged on a contract that specified “bronzed” rather than “bronze” figures. Regardless, the alloy was so deteriorated that the crowning Goddess of Liberty was replaced in 1964 with an inexact replica that most believe is inferior to the original.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "Soldiers and Sailors Monument", [Allentown, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-LH1.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 291-291.

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