May 8, 2008

Finishing touches at Monument Square

The finishing touches were installed at Monument Square today, completing the $1.4 million makeover begun in 2005.

At 8 a.m. this morning, a four-man crew from Osterman Granite and Marble met a big semi from Cold Spring, Minnesota, loaded with about 60,000 pounds of Mesabi black granite from a century-old quarry.

With the help of a crane, the crew made quick work of the biggest pieces -- one of which weighs 9,000 pounds -- and installed the largest of Monument Square's new benches alongside Main Street in front of the Civil War monument. Smaller game tables -- some weighing a mere 4,000 pounds -- and art pedestals were next on the agenda. The two Civil War cannons, whose matching marble bases are still being carved, are due to be installed by Flag Day in mid-June, ending a controversy that threatened to see them exiled to the new Kenosha Civil War museum -- or worse.

It's unlikely the three largest pieces of marble installed this morning will move again for quite a while. But if they do, those who lift the large center slab will find Monte Osterman's good luck charm: a 2008 Jefferson presidential dollar. "It's not a myth, it really does bring good luck," he said, as he slid the brightly colored coin far under the bench as the crane gently lowered it into place for the last time.


  1. This is just awesome. We have met the owner of Osterman's and what a nice nice guy and so proud to be able to do this for Racine.

    Hats off!

  2. Thanks, Pete, for your local interest/historical stories and photos.

    After reading your article about seeing parts of the plank road as Sixth Street was torn up, we went down to look for ourselves - good stuff! Thanks again.