Vandalized Brackenridge memorial set to be restored by Memorial Day |
Valley News Dispatch

Vandalized Brackenridge memorial set to be restored by Memorial Day

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Carmen Nobile Jr. of FPF/Conidi Landscaping & Construction works at restoring the honor roll memorial in Brackenridge Memorial Park on Monday, May 6, 2019.

With the help of donations large and small, the vandalized honor roll memorial in Brackenridge Memorial Park is expected to be restored to glory in time for Memorial Day.

The 54-year-old memorial, featuring the names of veterans of both World Wars and the Korean War, was damaged by a still-unknown vandal in February.

Authorities believe someone painted parts of the bronze memorial with silver paint and put black caulking in its cracks in a misguided and unwanted attempt to repair or improve it.

Work is now underway on the memorial’s structure, consisting of limestone and sandstone, while the plaques are away for restoration, said Dino Lopreiato, a borough councilman and president of the Brackenridge Improvement Group.

Restoration of the memorial had been in the works. The vandalism accelerated it, he said.

In the park, FPF/Conidi Landscaping & Construction is taking care of the stone work, Lopreiato said. That has included pressure washing, removing the caulking and repointing the bricks. They are also rebuilding the planter at the memorial’s base.

The plaques, which had 1,184 names upon them when the memorial was dedicated in 1965, and the memorial’s other bronze pieces are in Finleyville, where Mike Boso of Mike’s Bronze Restoration is working on them at his shop.

When Boso visited the memorial in February, he said his plan would be to sandblast the plaques to take them down to their natural bronze, apply a base coloring and then highlight and polish each name. A clear coat will help it last longer.

In total, the restoration work is costing between $12,000 and $13,000, Lopreiato said. The improvement group is covering nearly all of the cost with donations.

“Compared to anything else we ever did, this is one of the quickest restoration projects we’ve had, from beginning to end, starting with raising the money down to finishing it,” Lopreiato said.

Contributions ranged from as little as $5 or $10 up to $3,000 given by a donor that wants to remain anonymous, he said. Some came from people out-of-state whose relatives’ names are upon it.

“We want to thank everybody, the community and the organizations that donated,” Lopreiato said. “We really appreciate them helping out to make our community just a little bit better.”

Memorial Day is on May 27.

If work is finished as expected, the memorial may be rededicated during the Memorial Day observance scheduled for 1 p.m. May 26, Brackenridge American Legion post Commander Frank Svitek said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.