Two damaged lightposts on Gates Circle will be getting some love if the Common Council approves a contract on Tuesday. The Buffalo Arts Commission is seeking to hire Russell-Marti Conservation Services, Inc. to restore Lampposts No. 2 and No. 3. at a cost of $138,520. Russell-Marti Conservation Services (RMCS) has extensive experience handling the more than a century old bronze lampposts and urns in the Gates Circle fountain.
Some background from the proposal:
Gates Circle is a large circular construction – a small park – consisting of granite benches, three sets of granite steps, two granite pools with fountains, six cast bronze lampposts mounted on large rectangular granite blocks, and two cast bronze urns. Trees and grass are also incorporated within the design. Gates Circle is located at the junction of several major streets in the city of Buffalo, and is open only to foot traffic.
The six bronze lampposts, all identical, are composed of a highly ornate leaf and scroll motif. There are eight cast sections that make up the body of the lamppost. Each section interlocks with its neighbor and is bolted together.
Lamppost No. 2 is located in a vulnerable location within Gates Circle, facing oncoming northbound traffic on Delaware A venue. It has been struck by vehicles on several occasions prior to the most recent damage. The last known repairs to the lamppost were performed during a three-year period from the summer of 1998 to the summer of 2001, when the lamppost was reinstalled after extensive repairs and reconstruction by RMCS. In 2013, the lamppost was struck by an automobile that knocked it and the capstone to which it was anchored to the ground. The lamppost sustained extensive damage.
At some point after the event that damaged Lamppost No. 2, Lamppost No. 3 was struck by a vehicle and knocked down. It was disassembled by Buffalo City staff and brought to storage. As far as is known to RMCS, Lamppost No. 3 has not received any prior conservation treatment.
- Disassemble, repair damaged elements where possible, and replace as necessary by mold making and casting new elements as needed. (Note: While Lamppost No. 3 does not appear to have the extensive damage that Lamppost No. 2 has, the issue of alignment and accurate fit of the eight individual sections appears to be the same.)
- For both lampposts, the light superficial scratches will be blended using hand tools to work the metal. The heavier, deeper abrasions will require additional metal by welding, followed by filing and blending.
- The surface texture of the repaired areas will be matched to the surrounding bronze.
- The tube drains such as the one located in the Section H will be replaced as necessary.
- A new interior structure of copper alloy square tubing will be fabricated and installed in both lampposts. This will assist in stabilizing the overall structure and anchoring of the lampposts. The internal structure will be attached to the bronze by welding.
- Exterior surfaces will be cleaned of corrosion products and repatinated as necessary, and a final protective coating of Permalac will be applied for surface protection.
Entry Image from Buffalo Architecture and History