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November 12, 1998

Pennsylvania Hall artwork saved from wrecking ball

Skullduggery Last Saturday, contractors finished a three-week project to preserve terra cotta artwork and ornamental ironwork from Pennsylvania Hall, as demanded by the City Planning Commission. See page 4.

Using hammers and chisels, mainly, workers from New York-based Irreplaceable Artifacts removed a terra cotta statue of Aesculapius, Roman god of medicine, from the side of soon-to-be-demolished Pennsylvania Hall. "You need a certain feel for this kind of work," said Evan Blum, Irreplaceable Artifacts' chief of operations. "The mortar between the pieces you're removing is harder than the pieces themselves, so it's easy to break them if you're not extremely careful. This artwork was not meant to be taken out. Buildings like this were built to last forever." Also in keeping with a demand from the City Planning Commission, the contractors preserved the building's ornamental iron staircase and ironwork around the entrance door.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 31 Issue 6

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