Maintenance: An Old Tactic for Evolving Treatments

Nancy Kurtz, Ronald Harvey, and Howard Wellman

Abstract

The Governor’s Commission on Maryland Military Monuments is tasked with identifying, determining responsibility for, and facilitating preservation of military monuments to Marylanders. The 468 known monuments, in and out of state, honor veterans from the French and Indian War to the more recent twenty-first century conflicts. They are made of stone, masonry, copper, bronze, and iron. Monument building is ongoing. Beginning in 1989, 112 of the monuments have received conservation treatment. Sixty of those not under the care of other municipal, state, or federal agencies have been in a program of regular maintenance since 1999. The maintenance program is supervised by the MMMC and the Maryland Historical Trust, and has been performed by five conservation firms contracted over the years. The continuity of supervision and resulting monitoring of past treatments has been critical to the program’s success. This paper will review treatment records for several different monuments over a spread of twenty-nine years, looking at how the treatments have evolved to address changes in the monuments, changes in conservation practice, changes in conservation materials, and the long-term preservation of the monuments.

2019 | Uncasville | Volume 26