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Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:03

Life is Beautified by Local Task Forces

SARATOGA SPRINGS-Representatives from the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation (SSPF) and Saratoga Springboard, as well as Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson, were on hand Monday, May 14, at a press conference in Congress Park to announce plans for Saratoga Springs’ leading lady’s makeover. The iconic “Spirit of Life,” statue nearly 100 years old, is located in the park and is the heart of the Trask Memorial


“The statue is the centerpiece of our city. We have a plan in place to make sure this treasure remains part of our history and part of our future,” said Stephen Carleton of Saratoga Springboard.

Two local groups are ensuring just that. Saratoga Springboard is a group of professionals who volunteer their efforts to support local nonprofit organizations. They’ve selected the SSPF’s restoration campaign for their latest commitment. This project seeks to honor and continue the legacy philanthropists Katrina and Spencer Trask began 100 years ago. Both organizations’ ideals are seamlessly inline with the Trasks’ dedication to give back to their community while preserving and beautifying the city.

To raise money for the project, Saratoga Springboard and the SSPF will present TRASK, an art show and fundraising event. TRASK will feature various mediums of artwork by local artists and will be held June 28 in the Canfield Casino. Local artists encouraged to submit entries for this juried event.

According to SSPF executive director, Samantha Bosshart, the last restoration of the statue occurred over 30 years ago, and the SSPF is hoping to raise $200,000 for the project which will take 3 and a half years to complete and the city has chipped in $25,000 already. The masonry work surrounding the statue will be the most expensive aspect of the job ahead and one part of the three-phase approach to reconstruction. The memorial’s surrounding landscape is another phase which includes maintaining the pine trees which were originally planted in 1915, and the statue itself, which has been well maintained over the years by the city’s Public Works Department.

“Preservation is not something that takes place on its own. It takes people, time and effort. It’s a group effort,” said Bosshart.

The Trask memorial was made by the same acclaimed collaborating duo of sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Henry Bacon before they produced the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The completion of the restoration project will coincide with the city’s centennial in 2015.

For more information on the upcoming TRASK event or the restoration project, visit saratogapreservation.org or saratogaspringboard.com.

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