Facelift for Soldiers & Sailors Monument

The Downtown Parks Conservancy has announced a fundraising effort for the restoration of the Soldiers and Sailors monument on Kennedy plaza and the surrounding area.

The monument was designed by American artist Randolph Rogers to memorialize the 1,727 Rhode Islanders who died during the Civil War. (Rogers is the artist who sculpted Nydia, the Blind Girl of Pompeii, a piece on view at the RISD Museum and a personal fave.)

Phase I of the project will include refurbishing the stone and bronze and repairing the in-ground lighting . . . and fabricating new cannonballs!

Phase II will involve installation of a low fence and concrete columns to surround the monument, with additional tables and chairs forming a second ring about the monument.

More details can be found in today’s ProJo including the monument’s importance in the state’s black history.

Those names include members of the 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery Regiment, a so-called “colored” unit, according to Theresa Guzman Stokes, managing director of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society.

Guzman Stokes said the Soldiers and Sailors Monument is significant for the state’s black history.

“The contribution of African Americans in general in the Civil War is important to remember,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of monuments around the state.”

The entire project is estimated to cost $300,000.


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