Soldiers & Sailors Monument Project Update

It’s been 2 years since the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy (DPPC) launched a fundraising effort to restore the Soldiers & Sailors Monument in Kennedy Plaza that landed on the front page of The Providence Journal

Photo by David Konetski

Photo by David Konetski

As of today, the DPPC has raised just over $216,000 and has reached the point at which they can start working on phase one of the project, while continuing to fundraise for the additional money needed to complete phase two.

Phase one involves refurbishing the stone and bronze on the monument in line with historic preservation protocols, fabricating new cannonballs to replace those currently missing from the monument, and repairing the in-ground lighting that surrounds the monument.

Phase two will focus on the infrastructure improvements critical to preserving the work after completion, and restoring the monument to its original design and footprint. A low metal fence will be installed to maximize viewing of the monument’s features while keeping it protected from graffiti and vandalism. The space surrounding the monument will be enhanced to create a sense of place around the monument for visitors to sit and reflect, and be a welcoming space in our city’s central plaza. 

Senator Jack Reed recently shared a sentiment that reminds us all why preserving these monuments is so important. 

I’ve had the opportunity to visit our forces all across the world. They are fighting to protect their comrades, they are fighting to protect us; but one of the reasons they fight is they know there is a tradition of valor and courage to preserve this union, to preserve this constitution. As we preserve these memorials, we reinforce those noble feelings in everyone; our citizens and our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen.

To learn more about the Soldiers & Sailors Monument and its significance to the history of Rhode Island, please watch this short film by local filmmaker Jamie McGuire. In this film, we meet people whose ancestors are named on this monument, hear from local dignitaries and end with a special appeal by documentarian Ken Burns.

To everyone who has donated to this project, thank you for being a part of this special restoration. If you have waited to make a donation, join the many people who have donated by making a tax deductible contribution to the project.