Preservation of Structures: Path & Avenue Signs and Posts

February 1, 2012

“See that good and sufficient sign-boards, with names, be placed at the corners of all the avenues & paths, where they are now deficient.”                – Trustee minutes, Aug. 3rd 1852

People often think of monument care when they think of Mount Auburn’s Preservation Department. In truth, our conservation crew spends quite a bit of time caring for additional structures in the landscape. As we continue to shift our work to more proactive maintenance cycles, we have made excellent progress at caring for one collection of structures in particular: our 500 path and avenue signs and their related posts.

Central Avenue Roses

We believe the cast iron signs were placed on site in the second half of the 19th century, with more recent aluminum versions being added as additional path and avenues were created or when older signs were damaged. Last year (2009) we were able to repair and/or repaint approximately 90 signs! This year (2010) we will care for at least 60 signs in an effort to be on an approximately 10 year cycle of care. When you are out on the grounds and spot a green flag on a post that is missing its sign, rest assured that we are caring for the sign. They are being repaired and repainted so these beautiful and functional structures will continue to mark the site for many years to come.

This article originally appeared in the February 2010 Friends of Mount Auburn electronic newsletter.

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