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McKinley monument in Niagara Square to undergo full restoration

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

It stands in the center of Niagara Square as a memorial for a United States President who was shot and died in Buffalo more than a century before. This summer, the McKinley Monument will undergo a full restoration.

The monument was first erected in 1907, six years after William McKinley was shot in Buffalo during his visit to the Pan-American Exposition.

"It is a $647,000 project to restore the monument," said Mayor Byron Brown. "The restoration work will be completed before September 6, the 110th anniversary of the monument."

Work began Monday. Fencing is set up around the monument and crews could be seen removing some of the steps leading to the fountain and obelisk. 

"We'll remove and reset all the paving stones and stairs on the monument," said Peter Flynn of Flynn Battaglia, the architecture firm overseeing the project. "We'll clean, repair and replace the bollards. Two of the bollards will be completely replaced. We'll clean the paving stones. We'll clean the fountain and the obelisk itself. We'll re-line the fountain pools and, lastly, we'll repoint the obelisk. In other words, we'll restore the mortar in the obelisk itself."

Morris Masonry Restoration has been retained to carry out the stone work. 

Repairs were completed on the monument in the mid 1990s but officials believe work then was not as extensive as it will be this summer. 

Credit Michael Mroziak, WBFO
Crews could already be seen dismantling some of the masonry as a full restoration of the McKinley Monument got underway Monday in downtown Buffalo.

In the meantime, Mayor Brown said that a popular summertime event that traditionally takes place in Niagara Square will still go on as scheduled, just a few yards away.

"Food Truck Thursdays will continue but while the work is going on in Niagara Square, the food trucks will be temporarily relocated to West Genesee Street, located between Statler City and the Walter J. Mahoney State Office Building."

Road closures will allow for patrons to visit the trucks safely, the mayor added.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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