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Posted on: August 14, 2020

Groundwork begins for relocation of City’s Confederate memorial

image of Confederate memorial located in the Plaza de la Constitucion

Preservation and patience are paramount

On Monday, August 10, in a 3-2 decision, the City Commission voted to relocate the Confederate memorial, which is currently located in the Plaza de la Constitución, to Trout Creek Fish Camp, located at 6550 SR-13, St. Augustine, Florida.

Today, August 14, 2020, the City’s contractor, New York-based Progressive Construction of Long Island, Inc. (Progressive Construction), will begin the careful process of preparing the memorial for relocation, in two pieces. Once the area is staged and set with equipment, the following will occur:

  • Remove the sidewalk and concrete around the base of memorial
  • Remove contextualization plaques, concrete posts and chains, to be placed on pallets, and moved with the memorial
  • Provide protection for the tablets at the base and on the memorial
  • Construct steel frames around each section of the memorial, the base and the obelisk
  • The frames will encase each section and compensate for the fragility/age of the structure
  • The upper frame will require the drilling of approximately 1" holes through the obelisk to properly support and brace the structure, and additional bracing may be added as needed
  • Once the obelisk has been fully supported and protected by the steel frames, the obelisk will be elevated and removed from the base on steel beams and moved to dollies for transport
  • The base will be encased in a separate steel frame and braced
  • The surrounding area will be excavated as needed to reveal the depth of the base
  • Lifting beams will be inserted under the base, which then will be elevated and moved to dollies for transport
  • The base and obelisk will remain in the steel frames and placed on crib blocks and steel beams at the new location
  • A new foundation will be constructed at the new location on which to place the memorial
  • Upon completion of the installation of the memorial at the new location, the contextualization plaques, concrete posts and chains will be replaced around the memorial
  • Backfill and sod will be placed around the new foundation and sidewalk

Progressive Construction is a four-generation, family owned and operated company that specializes in moving and relocating buildings while maintaining the structural integrity and preserving the historic significance of those buildings.

“We are proud to help the City of St. Augustine in relocating this historic memorial so that it will be protected and preserved for another 200 years to come,” commented Jeremy Patterson, Progressive Construction Vice President. “In the case of this memorial, the City is taking great care to ensure that it is not simply dismantled and destroyed, but carefully removed so as to preserve it and ensure that it remains for generations to come.”

City Manager John Regan, P.E., echoed Mr. Patterson’s comments, “We want this to be an open and transparent operation with Progressive Construction. They recently have moved some of the most significant structures in our American history, from Greenville, SC, to Stamford, CT,… we could not be more pleased to be working the best in the business, knowing they will handle our memorial with the respect and care that it deserves.”

The project could take several weeks to complete, but there is no rush to get it finished. Patterson has made it clear that, “it will take as long it takes to relocate the memorial” without damage or incident.

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