Park fountain restoration gets underway

Alabama shop removing paint

Michelle Monroe

By Michelle Monroe

Executive Editor

Just
The Facts

Owned by

ST. ALBANS — Parts of the Taylor Park fountain has been stripped of their paint, reported J. Scott Howell, a vice president at Robinson Iron, where the fountain is being refurbished.

Workers at the company’s shop in Alexander City, Ala. removed four to five layers of paint, said Howell. “We try to use as low a pressure as we can to prevent damage to the iron. It is a long and tedious process,” said Howell.

The center portion of the fountain, including the bowls, were made of iron and are being restored. The four maidens that sat around the base, the cherubs and the nymph at the fountain’s top are being recast in aluminum. They are made of zinc.

The originals will return to St. Albans where they can be placed inside, away from the elements.

One of the cherubs has broken several years ago, and Mark Prent, of St. Albans, was hired to provide a replacement, which he did by creating a mold from one of the other cherubs. Originally, all three cherubs were different. Because Robinson Iron owns the original molds, they have ordered a recast of the cherub that was broken.

There were no surprises in the iron portions of the fountain, said Howell, except for the iron plates on which the ladies sat.

“There’s a lot of repair work that will go on over the next few months,” said Howell.

Once the fountain is fully repaired, workers will rebuild it inside the Robinson Iron facility, where it will be repainted. Robinson Iron has recommended a black paint with a highlighting coat over it. The highlighting coat will have a greenish tinge.

“That’s a beautiful finish,” said Howell. “It really does a fabulous job of highlighting the details.”

New plumbing will be installed in the fountain, which is also being wired for lights.

The Rotary Club of St. Albans has taken on the challenge of raising the funds to pay for the restoration, which is anticipated to cost approximately $225,000, when repairs to the fountain’s base are included.