Good, Bad & Ugly

Today to close out the week, we take a look at the fountain over the last five years.

An early photo of the fountain, still in great condition (other than the “Angels Fall” grafitti?). This photo was taken in September 2003.

A view of the central portion of the fountain(Photo from 08/2003)

A detail shot of the bowl and fish that kept it full. (Photo from 08/2003)

A shot of Walter Allward’s bronze work, with a century of patina on the bronze. (Photo from 08/2003)

When I returned to Jackson Park with my camera in May 2005, I noticed something wasn’t right with the fountain…

I was shocked to discover the fountain had been vandalized, and the bowl and fish, smashed away.

I had heard that there was a “restoration” planned for the monument, so I headed over to check out what had been done. There photos were taken in December 2008.

Sadly, it was another half-assed fix. The bowl and the fish were removed and we were left with this amputee of a fountain.

There’s the re-dedication plaque showing you who to blame for this piss poor renovation job.

On top of buggering up the “restoration”, they also cleaned the bronze!

While it looks exceptionally clean and sterile, it is arguable, Windsor greatest piece of outdoor sculpture.

Just take a look at the level of detail in these photos…

There is no denying the genius of Walter S. Allward. Here is a piece of sculpture done by one of Canada’s most important sculptors, and it gets a second rate, half-assed restoration attempt.

Hopefully one day this fountain will be better appreciated, it deserves so much better…

18 Comments on Good, Bad & Ugly

  1. This was not a restoration – it was further vandalism! The removal of original architectural features and the wiping away of a century’s worth of patina on the bronze is nothing short of uncaring, willful ignorance. Who is responsible for this travesty of a “renovation”?

  2. Maybe the fucktards can be charged or made to pay for some of the “restoration”. Little bastards should have their hands broken with a hammer. That goes for all of those scumbag grafitti “artists” out there. It would be pretty hard to spray paint with a broken hand wouldn’t it?

    I agree with Terry. This is further vandalism. How sad.

  3. Its to bad they don’t know who did this.If they are old enough they should be shipped of to Afganastan or Irac to fight and to see just what the men and woman go through for this country.Then you will see just how brave they think they are.

  4. I’ve been wondering………

    Maybe I’m naive but I thought it was just not acceptable to clean the patina off brass, copper and bronze. I don’t think many of the general public would know this ( well, I do, and apparently a lot of the readers of this blog do! – doesn’t ANYONE watch “Antiques Roadshow”?) but you would think someone who was involved with this decision might have heard this – it’s a pretty important monument. I wonder if the City had this work contracted out or if it was done by city employees. If a reputable restoration company did this work, then wouldn’t they know this was not appropriate?

  5. It’s not. The problem with cleaning outdoor bronzes, is that the patina acts as a protective layer. Sometimes by cleaning it, problems like corrsions and pitting can set in, destrying the work.

    I’m not sure who did it, but I’m willing to bet it wasn’t done properly.

    If it was a reputable restoration company, the bowl would have been restored or replicated.

  6. looks more like they painted over the sculpture. terrible. but i know how it is for the parks and rec in this city having worked for them.

  7. I assure you it is cleaned, not painted over.

    In Detroit they have painted some outdoor bronze statues with black paint due to maintenace cuts…

  8. I still wonder who carried out the “restoration”? City hall never called me back…go figure on that one. But the Trillium Foundation only gives the money for the work to be done so it isn’t their fault.

    Regardless, what a sad state to see it reduced to such a state.

  9. cj – Ususally bronzes are sealed with a non permanent no chemical option. There is a was that is usually applied for protection. I didn’t notice any traces of anything on there. If it was done, it probably hasn’t been done since the “restoration”. Generally you have to keep up the maintenance of the wax in order to protect the bronze.

  10. If the city can’t protect our monuments with our over budget police force I would glady have them install it on my front yard where everyone can enjoy it and it wil be protected by me.
    at least we know it will be secured and taken care of.

  11. You’re right. Cleaning bronze is a big no no for antiques because the cleaner is an abrasive. Every time you clean the bronze, you’re also taking off some of the bronze detailing and for antiques the sharper the detail, the more it is worth, so it’s diminishing it’s fine detailing and value every time it’s polished clean.

  12. Scooter – That is a bronze Gazelle (or maybe a deer?) – It’s the logo of one of the regiments of the time I believe . Good eye! I noticed in the 1906 photo that neither of the two logos next to the bronze were there at the unveiling…

    That must have been added during the “restoration”.

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