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The Chicago Park District is returned the statue of the nation’s first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton to its pedestal in Lincoln Park on June 8, 2017.
The statue has been undergoing a restoration since its removal in September of 2015. The statue required a touch up to its gilded finish, which involves applying thin layer of gold leaf to the bronze surface. Conservationists used a technologically-advanced laser cleaning process, which eliminated the use of mechanical abrasives or chemicals. The Chicago Park District is also using this opportunity to restore Hamilton to its original orientation facing north. The statue originally faced north, but was shifted to face south in 1993 to increase exposure to the sun.
The 13 foot tall, 3,000 pound statue was commissioned by Kate Sturges Buckingham around 1940. Buckingham was most notably known for donating the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain located in Grant Park. The statue was sculpted by John Angel and the masonry was designed by Coolidge & Shattuck Architects of Boston. Funding for the restoration of the Hamilton statue was provided by the Kate S. Buckingham Fund of the Art Institute of Chicago.