Park to Repair Damaged Monument in Put-in-Bay

Sun May 04, 2008 - Midwest Edition

PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio (AP) The Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, which closed for several months in 2006 when a 500-lb. chunk of stone broke off the observation deck, needs a more effective waterproofing system to prevent further deterioration, an architectural firm said.

Engineers found a second loose piece on the 352-ft. granite memorial in July 2006, a month after the first piece fell 300 ft. to the ground.

The monument could crumble in the next 10 years if permanent repairs aren’t done, said Kathy Schneider, chief engineer of construction management for the National Park Services Midwest Region.

Park service assessments over the last two years found that years of water penetration have weakened the monument’s concrete, park service documents showed. Also, freeze and thaw temperatures have expanded the concrete, which has created cracked and dislocated granite panels.

Construction crews installed temporary waterproofing last summer, but a stronger system is needed, according to architectural and engineering firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates. Other repairs to the concrete structure also are required, the park service said.

The agency requested $5.1 million to repair the monument over three years, and that funding was included in the Bush administration’s proposed federal budget now before Congress.

The monument on South Bass Island is one of Lake Erie’s most recognizable sights.

It opened in 1915 to commemorate Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813 during the War of 1812.