Conservation Solutions, Inc: Art + Architecture + Artifacts

Cast Stone Fountain Conservation

Site
Haddon Hall Fountain, Miami Beach, Florida

The Haddon Hall Hotel is a contributing resource in the historic Art Deco district of Miami Beach, FL.  The entrance drive of the hotel features a fountain consisting of a nude figure in a tile basin.  The cast stone figure was sculpted by Robert M. Schwarz, a popular sculptor of the Miami Beach area in the 1930s and 40s. 

Upon assessment in 2015 CSI discovered that the figure’s pose had been altered following an incident that damaged the sculpture’s arms, feet, waist and head.  CSI conservators removed multiple layers of paint, epoxy and cementitous materials that coated the figure. Areas of inappropriate or failed patching were removed and replaced with a restoration mortar color-matched to the surrounding material.  The figure’s left hand and arm were removed and repositioned to more accurately match the historic pose based on a historic images. The new left hand was sculpted with restoration mortar upon a new stainless steel armature. Once new patches had properly cured the figure was coated with a permeable masonry coating.

The faux-coral limestone base was also treated by CSI conservators. The base was gently cleaned and cracks were injected with a color-matched grout. Accumulated carbon crust was removed with a micro-abrasion system. CSI documented all phases of conservation treatment and produced a report at the conclusion of work.