LINCOLN HEIGHTS –– Several months ago The Eastsider and the L.A. Times noted the sorry state of the Florence Nightingale statue in Lincoln Park, where the artwork that honors the champion of modern nursing had its hands ripped off and showed other signs of vandalism. After Councilman Gil Cedillo requested that repairs be made, the city launched a restoration of the statute that was completed earlier this month.
The 80-year-old sculpture that overlooks Lincoln Park Lake remains fenced off but its surface has been clean and new hands created and attached to the figure using metal rods. The conservator also recreated a small lamp held by one of the statue’s hands. The nearly 9-foot-high statue, a Depression-era artwork created by David Edstrom under the Works Progress Administration, is surrounded by newly planted roses and pointy succulents intended to keep vandals at bay. The cast-stone figure has also been sealed with a coating to make it easier to clean off graffiti.
Before the city’s Recreation & Parks Department began the approximately $20,000 restoration, the Western Conservancy of Nursing History at Azusa Pacific University had offered to restore the statue and move it to the school’s campus in the San Gabriel Valley, said L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez The city turned down that request even though it had not bothered to perform major repairs to the statue since 1999, according to The Times.
A person with the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs said a ceremony is planned to celebrate the restoration.