Lincoln Park’s Florence Nightingale statue is nursed back to health

The restored Florence Nightingale rises above temporary fencing

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.

The  statute depicts the pioneer of modern nursing in a uniform with a flowing dress and hat

Statue during renovation | City of Los Angeles

Statue during renovation | City of Los Angeles

The armatures that reinforce the statue’s hands | City of Los Angeles

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  1. Dear headline writer: I think you mean “statue.” Then you can delete this comment.

  2. Hope it is taken care of — I love EP and all ‘hoods of LA, but really, why can’t we take care of our parks, not drop trash, refrain from tagging up everything, and vandalize public art? Really.

    I have been lucky to have traveled here and there, and being a native Angeleno I’m often sad when visiting nice parks with nice art with clean lawns and grounds and playground equipment that is not tagged up. And am sorry to say this.

  3. There are so many details at this park that keep it from working. This statue is now repaired as are the gates facing Lincoln Park and Mission, yet pedestrian circulation, shade, clean bathrooms, etc. still need some work. That, and the park is being used as an illegal parking lot still by Plaza de la Raza patrons and DMV customers.

  4. I am so happy to find out that “the lady with the lamp”, as Florence Nightingale was known, has been restored. The last time I visited the park, she was in very desolate shape. Does anyone know if the statue has a connection with Nightingale school?

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