John C. Calhoun Monument

Marion Square, Charleston, SC

The John C. Calhoun monument was erected to honor one of South Carolina’s most illustrious citizens—the former vice-president, senator and secretary of war, John Calhoun. The 115-foot tall monument, completed in 1896, stands in Marion Square and depicts Calhoun looking out over Charleston.

During the one hundred years that followed the monument’s construction the bronze components suffered from exposure to active corrosion factors, resulting in the pale green appearance of the bronze and streaking and pitting of the sculpture’s surface.

We were awarded the contract to clean, repair, and repoint the granite portions of the monument, and to recast, repatinate, and coat its bronze elements.

The stone was cleaned of biological growth and atmospheric pollution using an anti-microbial solution and micro-abrasive cleaning. Stone repairs, crack injections, and all pointing on the monument were performed using Jahn Restoration mortars and grouts. Missing bronze elements were modeled and recast using an alloy similar to the original, then patinated to match existing elements. Loose corrosion products were removed from the sculpture, plaques, and bronze sculpted palmetto trees using water jets at low-to-medium pressure. These elements were then repatinated and coated with a lacquer formulated for exterior use on copper and copper alloys.