COCHRAN PARK RESTORATION
COCHRAN PARK RESTORATION
UPDATE - August 17
This week, the city will be at Cochran Park for added fittings for the mounts of the four geese so they may be fabricated with a precise fit for each of the plinths. The geese will be delivered by the city to the art conservators for their rehabilitation. The conservation process will take 6 – 7 weeks. Following that, the arrows which were stolen this past winter will be recreated and attached. The good news is that the pool tiling has been completed and looks beautiful. The Indian Hunter and his Dog sculpture has had its protective box removed so it is visible again. A sizable part of the project is complete.
To DONATE to the Cochran Park Initiative
UPDATE - June 1, 2023
Full speed ahead on Cochran Park rehabilitation! The next step in the project will be to re-build two of the concrete plinths (concrete bases) in which the geese sculptures will be placed. This is necessary due to the discovery of their degradation upon the project's commencement. When one goose was stolen during the holiday season of 2021, the goose and its mount were severely damaged. This allowed the city to see the degradation of the plinths even before the tile removal. Before the contractors removed the tile, they supported this with filmed evidence of crumbling substrate.
Since the grant was written before these things were known, we are now having to use some of the funds which the Ramsey Hill Association raised to supplement it. We knew there would be expenses unknown and beyond our control. The new mounting system being engineered will protect the plinths from water incursion, which caused their downfall. The new mounting system will also shore up the security of the geese, making theft much more daunting than it was last time.
These items, in the end, are positive and will produce a better, more secure, and sound outcome for our project.
UPDATE - May 17, 2023
Soon at Cochran Park, a wood box will encompass the Paul Manship sculpture “Indian Hunter and His Dog” so that removal of the tiles can occur. This is for the protection of the beloved sculpture while construction is happening. The plinths that will hold the geese (which are being stored off-site) will be re-built due to their structural deficiencies.
New mounts for the geese are being crafted to be placed on top of the plinths. The new mounts will have a more robust attachment system to prevent attempts at theft. There is a temporary safety fence around the pool while the wrought iron rail is off-site for restoration.
The entire project is due to be completed by June 30, 2023, to fulfill the obligations of the grant the city was awarded for the project. Further progress details to come in the June newsletter and social media posts.
UPDATE April 27, 2023
The city has begun the Cochran Park project. A general contractor has been acquired to begin construction. They are a local company (from our neighborhood), which have been involved with many similar historic restoration projects throughout the country. The city has a lot of confidence in them.
The original plan was to remove the sculpture by Paul Manship, The Indian Hunter and His Dog, to restore it offsite, but the plans changed for it to remain in place while the restoration project proceeds. The slight damage perpetrated against the sculpture on the arrows this winter will be addressed also. The project is starting very soon and is expected to be finished by June 30th.
Years of planning and fundraising are finally coming to fruition!
The Ramsey Hill Association is committed to raise money for the restoration of Cochran Park ’s ceramic tile pool, the 5 bronze Paul Manship sculptures, and the historic wrought iron railing.
The Park, pool and sculptures were dedicated in 1926, almost a century ago. The City of Saint Paul has applied, with assistance from RHA, for a Minnesota Historical Society Legacy grant to fund the restoration of these three important Park elements. The City was required to submit the MHS Legacy application as it is they, not RHA, that owns the land, the pool and the bronze sculptures. RHA committed a $25,000. match should this grant be awarded to The City.
While the complete restoration of the Park, including its landscaping and hardscape elements, will be upwards of $180,000.00, the goal of our initial campaign, the first of several, is $50,000.00. We hope to raise $25,000. to replenish our RHA match, and an additional $25,000. to establish momentum on which to build.
Such generosity in the amount of $50,000. from our supporters would create a worthy foundation from which to attract new partners and funders. Should the City not be awarded support, $50,000. is the RHA dedicated Cochran Park Fund, is a significant step in the right direction.
What will your initial donations do?
Conserve and restore the 5 cast-bronze Manship sculptures.
Restore pool with new, artist-created ceramic tiles.
Restore the historic wrought iron railing that encircles the pool, through sandblasting and repainting.