Oregon Coast's Famed Astoria Column Reopens
Published 10/10/2015 at 5:02 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Astoria, Oregon) – One of Oregon's most treasured landmarks reopens this weekend after four months of intensive restoration and preservation work, and even a setback due to vandalism. The Astoria Column is open once again as of Saturday, set to receive its usual average of 400,000 some visitors every year.
Since 1926, the Astoria Column has endured torrential Oregon coast storms which have taken their toll on the beloved local icon and national landmark; the restoration project even weathered an 80 mph storm this summer but remained on schedule to open for fall visits. The nonprofit Friends of Astoria Column, founded in 1988 to manage the renovation projects, brings this phase of the 2015 project to a successful close ensuring that the national landmark remains an enduring symbol of the pride, resolve and fortitude of the people who settled the Pacific Northwest.
The Friends, who provide ongoing restoration, historic preservation and public education, raised and donated the $650,000 funding for the first phase of this critical and intensive project to maintain the structural integrity of the landmark. Elements included comprehensive painting of murals and original artwork, and significant repair of the façade, cupola and public observation deck.
Now, with the Column’s 90th birthday approaching in 2016, the Friends continue the next stage of fundraising to fund improvements to the public plaza, park site landscaping, and energy-efficient LED lighting. Sponsorship opportunities are available for donors to dedicate personalized pavers, steps and markers ensuring their own place in history! For more information on sponsorship opportunities, visit www.AstoriaColumn.org/donate.
“The Astoria Column, in and of itself, is an historic treasure unique to the entire nation,” said Marie Laibinis, internationally recognized expert in conservation of art and cultural objects, and Project Director and Conservator for the 2015 Astoria Column Restoration Project. “What makes the Astoria Column so incredibly special is its original artwork by Italian painter Attilio Pusterla, whose sgraffito technique was very similar to that used in Italy to adorn exterior building facades.”
The-125-foot tall Astoria Column is among the most visited parks in the state of Oregon, and is one of the city’s most-visited attractions: While the city of Astoria is home to approximately 10,000 people, it is estimated that more than 400,000 visit the Astoria Column each year. Modeled after the Trajan Column in Rome, the Astoria Column features a hand-painted spiral frieze that would stretch more than 500 feet if unwound. The monument was dedicated in 1926, and has undergone several restorations.
The Column opens up just in time for a three-day weekend that always brings many visitors to the north Oregon coast. www.AstoriaColumn.org. More about Astoria below and at the Astoria, Warrenton Virtual Tour, Map.
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