Restoration to start on SU's Old Main fountain
fountain in front of Shippensburg University’s Old Main is probably the most
photographed location on campus and has served as a favorite landmark for
tens of thousands of students and alumni.
in 1896 and a gift from the graduating class that year, the fountain has
undergone regular painting and maintenance since its installation, but the
iconic structure will undergo a restoration beginning in mid-January.
from molded cast-iron, the fountain features an intricate relief that continues
around the basin. Through the years, weather and age have taken a toll on the
parts falling off and the basin is cracking and leaking,” said Bruce Herring,
assistant director for planning and engineering.
that the project was approached as a restoration effort because the fountain
sits in the historic district of campus.
Conservation LLC of Orland, Pa. will take the lead on the restoration. Herring
said the conservation company is partnering with Robinson Iron of Alabama and
Outerspaces, a Pennsylvania-based landscaping architectural firm.
fountain was originally designed by the Fiske company which operated in New
York at the turn of the century. They actually had a catalog and people
designed fountains from the catalog and they built them,” said Herring.
has gone out of business but Robinson Iron purchased all of its
molds, so restoration will be as close to the original as possible. The cast
iron fountain will be disassembled and taken to Alabama where the work will be
completed. Herring said the work that occurs there will make the decorative
relief details much more visible when the fountain is reinstalled. Successive
layers of paint through the years obscured some of the intricate detail.
fountain itself is in Alabama, work will be completed on the basin. Outerspaces
will remove the basin, excavate the area and construct a new basin to which the
renovated fountain will be reattached in early April.
foundation of the fountain is limestone. Each of those stones will be numbered
and removed while excavation of basin goes on. Then they will be put back in
place,” said Herring.