CONSERVATION AND MAINTENANCE . . .
Exposure to the elements, including pollution, long term water exposure, dramatic climate changes and graffiti, all have a negative effect on artwork placed outdoors. Fort Worth Public Art is committed to the caring for the Fort Worth Public Art Collection through a Conservation Action Plan. Partnering with certified appraisors and conservators, FWPA assures that each member of the collection is annually inspected and maintained. Major treatments and repairs are conducted as needed and documented throughout the treatment process.
Treatment for the 117 year-old Al Hayne monument
Lancaster, downtown Fort Worth
The 117 year-old Al Hayne monument on Lancaster in downtown Fort Worth is being restored. Historic photographs and other documentation are aiding the conservation team’s effort to recreate the missing and damaged elements that contribute to the monument’s unique character. During the treatment period, the monument may be temporarily wrapped in cloth and plastic to allow materials to set consistently and mottling may be visible.
The monument is owned by the City of Fort Worth and was accessioned by the Fort Worth Art Commission in to the Fort Worth Public Art (FWPA) collection in 2006. The commission authorized a condition assessment prepared in 2008 by the Quimby McCoy Preservation Architecture, LLP and approved a conservation treatment as part of the FWPA 2009 workplan. Following a national call to professional conservators, a team led by Chief Conservator of Objects at the Dallas Museum, John Dennis was selected for their ability and extensive experience.
The following excerpt was submitted on May 15, 2008 by local historians Dr. Richard F. Selcer, Susan M. Pritchett, Quentin McGown IV, Dalton P. Hoffman, Jr. and Scott Grant Barker to provide support for the historic renovation of the monument. It details the unusual history of the monument.
The Al Hayne Memorial Fountain: Observations
The Al Hayne Memorial Fountain was dedicated on Saturday February 25, 1893, two years, two hundred and seventy-two days after the death of the man for whom it was named. Alfred S. Hayne, a native of London, England, was fatally injured on the evening of May 30, 1890 in a tragic fire which consumed Fort Worth's first significant public building, the Texas Spring Palace. On that evening, Hayne, a civil engineer, was credited with saving the lives of over a dozen other fire victims when he refused to leave the burning structure, opting instead to help others escape. His injuries were so extensive that he died within hours, becoming the fire's only fatality. Hayne's actions during the course of the fire were seen as a principal reason why no one else died despite the fact that the Spring Palace was occupied by more than five thousand people at the time the fire broke out.
Following Hayne's death, a movement to honor his memory quickly arose. Fundraising for the envisioned memorial, however, did not proceed smoothly until the involvement of the Woman's Humane Association and their proposal to construct a memorial fountain near the intersection of Main and Front Street (now Lancaster Ave). The fountain was intended to serve as both a memorial to Al Hayne and as the southernmost watering station in a network of equine watering stations scattered across Fort Worth. Donated funds, allowed the project to be realized.
The Al Hayne Memorial Fountain was designed by Fort Worth architects Messer, Sanguinet and Messer. The firm prepared all general and detail construction drawings free of charge. The architects also oversaw construction of the monument by masonry contractor Thomas Veitch. Fort Worth stonemason Lloyd Bowman produced the marble bust of Al Hayne and was responsible for the monument's most intricate carvings. Most of the stone used in construction was donated by the Granbury Quarry Company and transported to Fort Worth at no charge by the Fort Worth and Denver Railway.
In an elaborate dedication ceremony attended by hundreds of Fort Worth citizens, Mayor B. B. Paddock accepted the memorial fountain in the name of the City and pledged that "the city would guard and care for the fountain while the stone of which it was built should last."
Relocation and Restoration (1934)
Over time, the Al Hayne Memorial Fountain endured tremendous changes in its environment. Its placement, just north of the Texas Spring Palace site on the T & P Reservation, was at the intersection of two heavily traveled streets, Main St. and Front (now Lancaster Ave). Fort Worth's first major train station, the soaring Texas & Pacific Passenger Station, was soon constructed a block east of the memorial fountain. In 1931 a new, larger Texas & Pacific passenger terminal was built a block west of the Hayne memorial. By 1934, the memorial fountain's usefulness as a public watering station was long past and the structure had fallen into notable disrepair. A Chamber of Commerce official suggested the memorial be moved to the courthouse lawn, an idea which sparked public outrage among those who understood the memorial's significance. The Fort Worth Art Association, with many of its members descended from the city’s pioneer families, led the effort to restore the monument.
The nature and extent of beautification to the Al Hayne memorial and its surrounding site was partially recorded in newspaper accounts. One article stated that widening of Lancaster Avenue allowed freer access to the new T & P station, but left the Hayne memorial "at the edge of the roadway." Thus a decision to move the memorial "nearer the center of the triangle" was made. A water-filled reflecting basin, not original to the 1893 concept, was built in the center of the Hayne monument's triangular parcel of land. The marble bust of Al Hayne, carved by Lloyd Bowman, was removed due to extreme deterioration, according to a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article from June, 1934. (Note: this is at odds with a Fort Worth oral tradition which holds that the Hayne bust was stolen). Fort Worth sculptor Evaline Sellors received a commission from the federally-funded Public Works of Art Project to sculpt a replacement bust and have it cast in bronze.
Work on relocating and restoring the Hayne memorial began on June 27, 1934 according to the Fort Worth Press. The bronze bust of Al Hayne, fresh from a New York foundry, was installed in September.
Significant Changes to the Hayne Memorial
Stemming from the 1934 Restoration
Newspaper accounts from 1934 are replete with mentions of plans to relocate the Hayne memorial. Pg. 17,824 of the Fort Worth Federal Writers' Project states that "it was necessary to move the monument about 20 feet." Comparing pre-1934 photographs and newspaper descriptions to the monument's present-day appearance reveals that the Hayne memorial was disassembled in order to move it. During reassembly, two major sections, namely the limestone base and the square tableau carrying four carved inscriptions, were re-oriented around the monument's vertical axis by a full ninety degrees. The reason why this was done isn't known. Additionally, the earliest images of the monument show a simpler, but larger, finial with a cylindrical decorative element. A news article noted that the present finial fell off of the monument in 1992, but was saved and returned to its position as part of the 1996 rehabilitation project.
The decorative concrete ring surrounding the monument's base is not original to the structure. In 1893, a water-tight basin with granite or limestone sides surrounded the monument's base. Sometime prior to 1915, a larger second water basin was added surrounding the original, and the original inner basin was used for decorative plantings. By1934, the monument was no longer a working fountain. Presumably, with no practical need to reconstruct either the original and second basins, both were lost during the relocation of the monument. Instead, a new concrete ring was added to the perimeter in order to create a small reflecting pool. The separate and larger reflecting pool built in the center of the Hayne triangle in 1934 was also bordered by a concrete ring. Both circular concrete borders are largely intact. Accounts of the 1934 project do not indicate whether the monument was completely replumbed, or how water was supplied to both the monument and the larger pool, but 1949 photographs confirm that water still flowed from the gargoyle on the north face.