A time to shine

Mike Snow with Ambassador Windows uses a brush buff the George Washington statue May 5 in Washington Park.

The statues in Charleston’s parks aren’t that different from your car — at least in the sense that both look bad if they’re not washed and waxed every now and then.

That’s why the city is spending $9,000 to spruce up George Washington, John C. Calhoun and eight of its other more notable bronze landmarks.

Bill Turner, project manager with Capital Projects division of the Parks Department, said the annual cleaning helps keep the statues looking good while preventing deterioration.

“If you don’t keep those things kind of clean and waxed, they get all green and patinaed, with streaks down the stone,” he said. “Eventually, they’ll get pitted and deteriorated.

Turner said the window-cleaning and maintenance crew is working under the direction of a monument conservator.

“We like this work to be done correctly and in keeping with outdoor sculpture standards,” he said.

A decade ago, the city erected scaffolding around the prominent Calhoun memorial in Marion Square and spent about $100,000 refurbishing it. Turner said this regular work — which the city tries to do once every year or two — will lessen the need for such major restorations down the road.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.