It’s looking as good as new. Phase II of the World War I monument restoration at the Mohave County Courthouse in Kingman is complete.
“The monument has now been fully restored to its original condition and the dignity it deserves. The result is stunning!” said Az MODD Charities Director Bob Wallace. The group led the effort to collect donations to bring the monument back up to snuff. A machine gun replica between the two figures has been stolen and the stuatues themselves were deteriorating.
“The people of Mohave County who all came together to fund this restoration work have demonstrated that they recognize and will not forget those who served in World War I to protect our freedoms,” Wallace said.
Phase I of the project was completed over the summer when the missing machine gun was replaced with a bronze replica along with landscaping, surveillance and lighting improvements. During that process, it was discovered the statues had major structural cracks that would require additional repairs. Attempts to remove accumulated alkali and silicon deposits on the monument needed some additional attention.
For Phase II, substantial wooden scaffolding was erected around the monument to allow access for the delicate refinishing work.
The Bronze Age Foundry in Prescott brought the monument back to its former glory.
Metal chasing specialists Kristine MacDonald and Stan Schmick from Bronze Age performed their magic as they made structural repairs and refinished the two statues of the monument. It involved removing and cleaning 90 years of accumulated natural debris, alkali from landscaping over-spray and natural aging of the copper metal to reveal the intricate details of the sculptures. The pair then applied a series of nitrates and other chemicals to create a patina finish identical to the original when the monument was erected in 1928.
The bronze and pressed copper sculpture was designed by E. M. Viquesney. It was rededicated on June 29 during a street party in Kingman. The date was chosen to coincide with the 101st anniversary of the mostly forgotten World War I Battle of Belleau Wood in northern France.