Reporting Ron Matz
BALTIMORE (WJZ)–She’s Baltimore’s Statue of Liberty, and thanks to historians and preservationists, she’s about to get a new home.
Ron Matz has more on Saturday’s scheduled move of the Lady Baltimore.
The battle monument sits at Fayette and Calvert streets. Hovering over top is Lady Baltimore. She’s been there for nearly 200 years, but time and weather have taken a big toll on her.
“The Lady Baltimore has been there since 1825,” said Kathleen Kotarba, executive director of the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation. “The elements — the wind, rain, and pollution — have led to damage. Her material is carrera marble, which is very fragile. The conditions are quite sugary, and the marble is literally crumbling away.”
“She was missing her nose, missing her mouth, missing her breast, and we’ve tried to bring those back just enough so from the ground one could see the profile and the image,” said Steven Tatti, conservator.
The lady will come down Saturday. A replica, one year in the making, will replace her.
“Two years ago we restored the whole monument, the column and everything else,” Tatti said. “And at that time we took a mold of Lady Baltimore in anticipation of one day casting a new one, a replica, because we knew it was in bad shape.”
Wearing her crown of victory, the lady weighs 2,750 pounds. The iconic statue will be placed in a cage, and then carefully lowered from the monument. Her new home will be the Maryland Historical Society.
“If the battle monument was a song it would be The Star-Spangled Banner,” said Kotarba. “So our battle monument tells that story, and the Lady Baltimore is the signature piece atop the monument.”
Saturday’s operation moving Lady Baltimore is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. and is expected to take several hours.
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