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Alma Mater Statue Restoration (August 2012-April 2014)

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Old Aug 11, 2012, 08:06 AM   #1
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Restorer discusses Alma Mater tasks

Dajnowski said the bronze is in good condition, and "it was very well cast." The exterior has suffered from corrosion, and more problems may crop up inside, but he won't know until he can inspect the statue after it's taken apart.

He will take analyze samples from the surface, then use chemicals or lasers to clean the sculpture "depending on which way the university decides to go," he said. A new patina will be applied, followed by a coating of microcrystalizing wax and polyethylene.

Campus preservation officials are studying Taft's original plans before deciding whether Alma will retain her weathered green look or return to a deep bronze color.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/art...ter-tasks.html
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Alma Mater moved for restoration

In 1981, Jim Trail watched his father help restore the Alma Mater. Before placing the statue on its pedestal, Trail put a Polaroid photo of the restoration team in a glass jar, a time capsule of sorts.

On Tuesday, that glass container was found after the Alma Mater was removed from her pedestal and placed on a truck to Forest Park, Ill., for about nine months of restoring.

Trail, a University employee, returned to watch the removal of the statue and see if the photo was still intact.

"I just wanted to come see it and see if it was still here," Trail said. "I didn't think it would be in good shape at all."

http://www.dailyillini.com/article/2...or-restoration

1962 flashback video-

This University of Illinois newsreel from August 22, 1962 shows the Alma Mater statue being moved from its original location behind Foellinger Auditorium to its present location in front of Altgeld Hall.


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Old Aug 11, 2012, 08:54 AM   #2
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Can you imagine driving to C-U and seeing the Alma Mater on a truck heading the other way? I'd end up in a ditch.

Thanks Dan. Interesting stuff. it will be very strange not having it there for a long time. We're paying Zook to do nothing. Maybe he can stand there and hand out fliers for season ticket sales.

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Old Aug 11, 2012, 09:01 AM   #3
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Well we can't just leave it EMPTY. #AlmaMater #UIUC pic.twitter.com/ihajU2kS



http://twitter.com/PaulKeutelian
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 10:49 AM   #4
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Alma makeover



She is 13 feet tall, weighs 10,000 pounds and desperately needs a facial.

She's Lorado Taft's magnificent bronze "Alma Mater" - normally found welcoming students to the University of Illinois main campus in Champaign-Urbana at the corner of Green and Wright streets. She (and her companions, Learning and Labor) are enjoying a stay at a high-tech spa for sculpture: Forest Park's Conservation of Sculpture and Objects Studio Inc. on the 900 block of Desplaines Avenue.

Complete with laser-surface cleaning, the sculpture's beautification is expected to take until just before graduation next May, in time for the cap-and-gowned to pose with her.

http://forestparkreview.com/main.asp...ArticleID=6736
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 03:24 PM   #5
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It's gonna be gone ALL YEAR?
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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It's gonna be gone ALL YEAR?
Agreed. Crazy that it will take that long. Give me a brillo pad and a six pack and I would have that thing ready in a day.

All kidding aside, at least they are taking their time and doing the job right.
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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The Alma Mater has been through a lot over the past few decades. My favorite alma mater moment was when we made the Final Four and someone dressed her up like Dee Brown, complete with orange sweatband, Illinois b-ball jersey, and basketball in one hand.


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Old Aug 15, 2012, 06:14 PM   #8
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My favorite alma mater moment was when we made the Final Four and someone dressed her up like Dee Brown, complete with orange sweatband, Illinois b-ball jersey, and basketball in one hand.
That's my g-mail icon.
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 06:58 PM   #9
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It's gonna be gone ALL YEAR?
Oh, that's kind of sad. We were going to drive through Champaign later this year and I really wanted my daughter to see it. Bummer.

Guess we'll just have to go back next year.

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Old Sep 28, 2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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Conservator: Alma Mater's in worse shape than expected

Alma Mater may need more extensive surgery than originally thought.

Tests show that hundreds of iron bolts on the interior of the University of Illinois' signature sculpture have corroded or disintegrated, conservator Andrzej Dajnowski said Friday.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/edu...-expected.html
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 03:14 AM   #11
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^^^ Very interesting. I have no idea how these things are made. Anyone know of a site that would give particulars? Curious what the function is of the bolts that need replacing? I had always thought these were cast shells.
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 07:17 AM   #12
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at least we have a real artist working on it and not some woman who they got in Italy to repaint the Jesus picture. Could you imagine what Alma wold look like if we let HER work on it.


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Old Sep 29, 2012, 07:53 AM   #13
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Could you imagine what Alma wold look like if we let HER work on it.
3 well educated monkeys of questionable gender!
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 08:12 AM   #14
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Interesting article, but scary to read. I trust those making the decisions will do the right thing in terms of making the decisions that are best for the long term.

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Old Oct 3, 2012, 12:59 AM   #15
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Glad they're doing this.

Re: the pic of the people standing on the base posing. Can you just imagine how many people are going to do that while it's in repair? I'd be there, probably multiple times. Hell, I rescued my drunken buddy from it's arms once (saw him from the Garcia's window at 1AM), so what's the big deal about climbing on the pedestal?

Seriously tho, will this be allowed? They're going to need a guard there for Halloween.
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Old Oct 13, 2012, 06:49 PM   #16
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I feel like the aging face made it look really authentic. Nice to see that they're committed to keeping it as nice as possible, though. What would campus be without it?

To thy happy children of the future, those of the past send greetings.

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Old Mar 4, 2013, 03:22 PM   #17
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Alma Mater won't be back in time for commencement; repair cost triples

The Alma Mater sculpture's problems are more extensive than initial inspections showed and the iconic sculpture will not be back on campus in time for commencement, officials said today.

The price tag for the restoration of the 5-ton bronze statue will also triple, to more than $360,000, with the cost covered by alumni funds, officials said. The original cost of the project was $99,962.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/uni...ost-triples.ht
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Old Mar 4, 2013, 03:25 PM   #18
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I knew this would be the case when they waited till the end of the summer to start restoration, so I'm not surprised. I actually called it. Still kind of upset it won't be there when I graduate.
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Old Mar 4, 2013, 04:06 PM   #19
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Also, this is a perfect representation of the state of Illinois. Project runs past expected finish date and costs 3.5x more than expected.
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Old Mar 4, 2013, 04:27 PM   #20
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Yeah, kind of figured this might happen. I guess I'm lucky to live in town, I can probably borrow a robe and take a picture next year. Plus, it'll be the only year graduates can pose as alma on the pedestal instead of with alma!

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Old Mar 4, 2013, 08:12 PM   #21
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Not very happy that 1) she will be bronze 2) will not be here for about another year 3) costing the school 3.5x as much.

I guess I can't complain nearly as much as the Class of 2013, though. Sorry, guys.

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Old Mar 5, 2013, 06:40 AM   #22
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Not very happy that 1) she will be bronze 2) will not be here for about another year 3) costing the school 3.5x as much.

I guess I can't complain nearly as much as the Class of 2013, though. Sorry, guys.
1) She's always been bronze
2) Agree
3) Paid for by donors, not the university. Still not happy about an increase in cost (as I've donated), but I'd rather pay extra and have her around for another century or more.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 07:58 AM   #23
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Not very happy that 1) she will be bronze 2) will not be here for about another year 3) costing the school 3.5x as much.

I guess I can't complain nearly as much as the Class of 2013, though. Sorry, guys.
1) always has been bronze, so I don't get this
2) would you rather she fall apart and be lost to eternity?
3) things cost money and it isn't easy to project costs all the time, it happens, this is good money spent on a great symbol

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Old Mar 5, 2013, 09:37 AM   #24
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I think he means, it will be bronze in color and not green-ish it's been.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 12:06 PM   #25
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Seriously. Was it bronze when you guys attended U of I? Probably not, so his point should be well understood.
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