Bill “Bojangles” Robinson Playground Mural

New York, NY

EverGreene conservators conducted a general condition assessment and executed a treatment plan for the Bill “Bojangles” Robinson mural, its surrounding masonry, and its memorial bronze plaque, within the Bill “Bojangles” Robinson Playground located in Upper Manhattan in 2020.

Bill Bojangles Robinson Playground was named to commemorate the important African-American entertainer and philanthropist Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (1878-1949). The mural, designed by landscape architect Brandon Adams, was donated and dedicated to Bill “Bojangles” by the Office of the Mayor in the early 1990s. It is comprised of three 15-foot laminated aluminum panels faced by enamel porcelain with a photographic image of Bill “Bojangles” applied by a silkscreen process.

Treatment began with a general pressure wash of all masonry, the bronze plaque, and the mural surface. The mural then received a detailed cleaning with mechanical and solvent methods followed by localized in-painting at areas of paint loss.  The bronze plaque was treated by first carefully removing the aged caulk with hand tools, and then mechanically removing corrosion products on the edges of the plaque. The text on the plaque was treated to reverse failing wax and lacquer coatings by using mechanical and solvent methods and burnishing of the text to restore legibility and luster. The final step was the application of a UV stable protective lacquer coating. Re-grouting with a UV stable caulk material.