A restored 77-year-old monument to George Washington – badly vandalized over the past decade – was re-erected Thursday at a new, more visible location in Manito Park.
Plaques had been stolen and letters chipped away on the sandstone column originally erected in 1932 in honor of the bicentennial of Washington’s birth.
Thursday’s effort was the culmination of a $5,500 project by the Esther Reed Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, which was responsible for installing the monument in 1932.
“Thank you so much,” DAR organizer Annie Pierce told a crew from Tresko Monument, of Spokane, after the column was placed on a new concrete base across Tekoa Street from the Park Bench Café.
John and Dick Tresko, fourth-generation stonecutters, and their workers replaced the chipped sandstone lettering with a more durable matching granite inlay. Etchings replace two lost plaques.
The Friends of Manito organization donated $4,000 for the project while DAR members and at least one private donation rounded out the funding. The Treskos worked at a reduced fee. An antique-finished base was donated by Five Star Concrete of Otis Orchards.
The vandalism dates to at least 2001 when bronze plaques were stolen, only to be stolen a second time after being replaced. The vandals also obliterated inset lettering.
Parks officials had considered removing the monument, but DAR members fought to keep it. “It would really have been sad to have lost this,” Pierce said.
At 8 ½ feet tall, the monument was the first of its kind in Spokane. It is accompanied by a drinking fountain, which was not re-plumbed. New landscaping will be put in place.
The new location is more prominent and will provide better security, said Steve Nittolo, park supervisor.
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