Saving History Saturday: Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial Restoration Complete

Photo: Friends of the Public Garden

In the summer of 2020 work began on the restoration of the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial located in Boston Massachusetts. The Memorial recognizes the first all-volunteer Black regiment of the Union Army during the Civil War. The entire memorial, all the bronze and stone, was completely removed from the Boston Common, across the street from the Massachusetts State House.

The bronze bas-relief was restored, new waterproofing installed underneath the memorial’s location, and everything else was replaced, including a new concrete foundation built under the bronze and the pinning of the bronze to the marble structure that surrounds it, as well as the entire monument being stabilized.

The work, which was originally supposed to take 5 to 6 months, was delayed due to COVID, as well as other factors. On Wednesday June 1st, the memorial was rededicated in a public ceremony, which included reenactors, representing the 54th Regiment’s Company A.

The memorial originally returned to the Boston Common about a year ago and the ceremony marked the end of the multi-year restoration project, which cost 3 million dollars. The project was a partnership between the National Park Service, Friends of the Public Garden, the Museum of African American History, Boston & Nantucket, and the city of Boston.

To learn more about the restoration project, and the Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial, click here.

About Terry Rensel

Terry is currently the Executive Director of the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT), located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He has Bachelor of Arts degrees in History/Political Science and Broadcast Communications from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in Bradford, PA. and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, AK. Prior to joining CVBT he spent 12 years living and working in Alaska.
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4 Responses to Saving History Saturday: Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial Restoration Complete

  1. I was in Boston the day after the dedication. I was able to visit the monument. It was quite impressive.

  2. Scott Shuster, Houston, TX says:

    I’m glad to hear the restoration is complete. I look forward to visiting the memorial again to see it in it’s restored state!

  3. ed root says:

    Last time I was there a bus stop was right at the Memorial. Theoretically a good thing as people would have the opportunity to view and appreciate it. Unfortunately it seemed that everyone was too busy getting on or off the bus and few if any paid any attention to this magnificent Memorial.
    Worse, anyone wishing to do so has to be in the midst of the crowd.
    Might be wise to move the bus stop a short distance down the street.

  4. Mark Harnitchek says:

    Thanks Terry … looking forward to seeing the “new” 54th.

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