Hurricane Sandy hit Green-Wood a year ago today.
300 trees were lost. And those trees took a toll as they crashed to the ground, landing on, and shattering, monuments and fences.
But Green-Wood, as always, has bounced back–thanks to its extraordinary workers. In just the last few weeks, two important restoration projects–one of a marble angel, the other of a metal fence–have been completed by skilled Green-Wood staff.
Near the Beard Bear, a large branch, snapped by Sandy’s roaring winds, fell off of a Norway Maple, taking off the head and arm of the Lloyd Angel.
Fortunately, we were able to find the broken-off pieces of the Lloyd Angel on the ground, beneath the maple branches. Green-Wood’s Restoration Team, led by Frank Morelli, took over from there, and just recently completed the repairs. The angel is once again angelic!
And, in the Hampton Family Lot, near the intersection of Linden and Atlantic Avenues, a century-old fence, one of the few metal fences that survives on Green-Wood’s grounds, was hit by a very large Norway Maple tree uprooted by the storm’s winds. Here’s what the fence looked like after the storm:
Discussions were held about this fence. Should it be saved? I, as Green-Wood’s historian, felt that it was important that we preserve it–Green-Wood has very few fences that have survived on its grounds. And this fence had an unusual look to it, with its heavy rails; we had nothing else like it out there. And, fortunately, others agreed. Could it be saved? Would it be best to consolidate it–take the pieces that were left and move them around so that it would be shorter, but still there? Or might there be some other way?
Ultimately, Dominick Lanzi and Vincent “Alex” Joseph, Green-Wood’s wonderful metal workers, came to the rescue. Two of the fence finials and many of the rails had been destroyed. Posts had been badly damaged when the rails were knocked loose. But there is no store or supplier where these parts are stocked. So, as reported by Superintendent of the Grounds Art Presson, Dom and Alex used their skill and creativity to fashion new finials “by assembling a steel ball and a plate with a through rod and spacers. The coned shape and the ridge and tapering detail in the lower part were framed with mesh that they tack welded to the steel. Next they applied and shaped epoxy. When dry they were able to sand down the excess to complete the form pictured.”
Dom and Alex also were able to create replacements for the rails that were destroyed by the falling tree:
Great work by both of these in-house restoration teams–work that few, if any, historic cemeteries have the skilled staff capable of doing. We are all very proud of them!