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TUESDAY, June 6 — The summer sun shone on a conspicuous crane in Mt. Hope Cemetery this morning, as work began on a massive monument. The restoration of the troubled Bainbridge monument has been in the works for a decade.
“This project took 10 years to get all the ducks in a row. A lot of things had to fall into place,” said Loretta S. Stanaway, president of the Friends of Lansing’s Historical Cemeteries.
Stanaway said the group has been wanting to do this project since the very beginning of the Friends of Lansing’s Historical Cemeteries. She described the Bainbridge monument as a “trifecta of troubles” — off kilter, balanced on a pile of rocks and surrounded by an overgrown tree.
The group hired Creature Control to trap woodchucks that had found a home under the monument, and the city forestry service cut down the tree. But the biggest part of the project, moving the monument and laying a new foundation, was completed today. Hi Ball Crane brought in a 60-ton crane to lift the monument. With the monument moved out of the way, the city’s Parks & Recreation department filled in the tunnels and compacted the soil, so that the new foundation could squared and leveled.
“This is our biggest restoration so far,” Stanaway said.
The restoration is funded by the Friends of Lansing’s Historical Cemeteries’ annual 5K Race to Restore. Normally the proceeds cover several restorations, but because the Bainbridge monument is such a large project, this will be the only restoration this year.
“The $2,000 project is with discounts,” Stanaway said. “This is a public-private partnership with the city and many different companies.”
Mt. Hope Monument Company, which oversaw the project, provided the concrete foundation, and the monument was returned to its home earlier this afternoon.
“We thought we were going to have to dismantle the monument and move it in pieces,” Stanaway said. “But the crane was big enough that the monument was lifted in one piece, which saved a lot of time.”