Neptune Fountain

Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, Washington, DC

The Neptune Fountain consists of heroic scaled bronze figures of the sea god surrounded by nereids, nymphs, and a menagerie of real and mythical sea creatures, set on rough granite boulders within a pool at the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.

Under the direction of Wisnewski Blair Architects, we studied the conditions and made recommendations for the protection and treatment of the bronzes during our planned waterproofing and fountain improvement work. This study included a survey of existing conditions, a review of documents relevant to the fountain’s historic and renovated design, and coordinating with structural and waterproofing consultants to determine the best means of establishing a waterproof re-circulating fountain that would minimize water loss, maintain the appropriate historic appearance of the display, and protect the bronze and stone components.

Recommendations were studied for modifications to ensure that work could occur without causing damage to the bronzes.  The report was successfully integrated into the restoration plans for the fountain in the next phase, with flawless execution from our team.

Over the years, our conservators have come back to complete maintenance-cycle treatments, which entails cleaning (i.e. removing mineral deposits, corrosion, failed wax), spot-patination (improving/ adjusting color in certain areas where necessary) and re-waxing (hot and cold application) the sculptures.