Put-in-Bay’s iconic landmark, Perry’s Monument, will reopen to the public this week after undergoing a yearlong renovation.
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial’s observation tower closed in 2017 to undergo a $2.4 million maintenance project, which included repointing exterior masonry; replacing broken interior tiles; revamping five bronze doors; removing debris. It will reopen at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“This is a proud moment for us,” monument and park superintendent Barbara Fearon said. “It’s an important moment in the history of this park, and we are thrilled to share it with the American public.”
The monument requires its mortar joints to undergo a repointing once every few decades due to constant wear and tear from adverse weather, including sun damage, rain and the wind.
The memorial overlooks the longest unprotected border in the world and marks a lasting peace between the United States, Great Britain and Canada following the War of 1812. It is an integral part of Put-in-Bay History.
Saturday’s reopening will include visits from state and federal representatives as well as local officials.
Fearon said Huntington National Bank will pay for the first 103 adults to take the elevator to the monument’s observation deck in observance of the 103rd anniversary of the start of memorial operations.
“We thank Huntington National Bank for their generosity,” Fearon said. “We think this is a big deal. Once the contractors took possession of the memorial column in 2017, it was inaccessible to park staff as well. We hope to see a crowd on opening day and all season.”
Fearon said Webster Huntington, a decedent of the founder of Huntington National Bank, was instrumental in raising funds to build the memorial.
The doors on the monument’s upper plaza level were vandalized in 2017, and also suffered 100 years of wear. The double doors to the observation deck were in poor condition, too, due to weather and other factors. All five doors have since been restored and are functioning properly. The total project cost of repairing all five doors was $171,000, according to a news release.
“Maintaining a historic structure that is 103 years old requires vigilance and some patience,” Fearon said. “The maintenance is costly and we are often competing with other parks for those dollars.”
Perry’s Victory by the numbers:
• 352 feet tall
• 317 feet from the ground to the observation deck
• 47-foot-long walls on each side
• 45-foot-wide base
• 11 tons of weight in a decorative urn atop the column
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