Buchanan Memorial & Serenity Statue

Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C.

EverGreene conservators performed a condition assessment of two monuments in Meridian Hill Park in 2017. The monuments assessed were the James Buchanan Memorial and the Serenity Statue.

The James Buchanan Memorial celebrating the 15th President of the United States was completed in 1930 and designed by architect William Gorden Beecher. A gift from the President’s niece, the memorial is located in the southeast quadrant of Meridian Hill Park in Washington, DC. The Memorial is a large, multi-component construction that includes a gray granite exedra, featuring sculpture at its north and south ends. The more than nine foot tall seated bronze sculpture of Buchanan by Hans Schuler sits on a pink granite plinth in the center of the monument.

The Serenity statue was installed in 1925 to honor naval officer William H. Schuetze in the northwest quadrant of Meridian Hill Park in Washington, DC. The sculpture by Josep Clarà was purchased in 1900 at the Paris Exposition by Charles Deerling and later donated it to memorialize Schuetze.  The white marble sculpture consists of a seated female figure whose left foot rests on a broken sword. Schuetze served in Siberia and in the Spanish-American War and his name is misspelled on the monument.

The assessment identified condition issues including soiling and bio-growth resulting from the monument’s proximity to large shady trees, graffiti on both monuments, stone movement and joint failure, and material loss and erosion. The report created for the client outlined all conditions observed and provided recommendations for treatment and maintenance.