Crews take down bronze pieces on Calhoun monument; plans in works to take down the rest

Updated: Jun. 25, 2020 at 2:30 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - On Thursday afternoon, crews took down more of the bronze pieces from the John C. Calhoun monument. On Wednesday, crews were able to remove the statue from the top after about 17 hours.

The monument includes several bronze plaques and bronze palmetto trees closer to the base. Those were taken down on Thursday but a lot more work needs to be done before the entire monument is gone.

“Next Wednesday we’ll have a plan to bring the cylindrical column down and work with the contractor to figure out how to get the rest of the base dismantled and removed from the park,” Director of Capital Projects and Parks for the City of Charleston Jason Kronsberg said.

He said the work took longer than normal on Wednesday, in part, because they did not have drawings of how the statue was put together.

“So a lot of it was just, try and see if it works,” he added.

Before the weekend, crews hope to clean up much of the park and take away some of the fencing, but not all. They also expect Calhoun Street to reopen where it was closed from Meeting Street to King Street because the large crane is no longer needed.

Next steps will be taking down the column and the base of the monument.

“We know that each column is a section from the trim piece you see, so there’s four column pieces. I think what we’re planning on doing is bringing the stone cutters back, setting up the stone chain saw you may have seen at the top [Wednesday] and cut two joints at a time,” Kronsberg added.

He doesn’t believe the crane will block traffic because they hope to put it in the park.

Earlier this week, City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said the statue will be stored in a safe and proper place until a more permanent facility can be found. The mayor said he would like the statue to be moved to a local museum or a higher education learning facility where it can be placed in full historical context, and be preserved and protected.

The Charleston Museum sent a letter to the mayor stating at this time they don’t want to accept the statue but would considering taking it in the future.

HAPPENING NOW: Crews are still working on removing parts of the monument in Marion Square. Abbey O'Brien - Live 5 News is there and explains what’s next for the monument.

Posted by Live 5 News on Thursday, June 25, 2020

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