Centre Street Bridge Lion Conservation Treatments
One of the four original concrete lions from Calgary’s iconic Centre Street Bridge was treated by Conservation Solutions (CSI) in Spring/Summer of 2017. The Lion required stabilization prior to its relocation in Rotary Park where the lion will overlook the newly cast replica lions which sit atop the Centre Street Bridge. James L. Thompson, a City of Calgary employee, originally cast the concrete lions in 1916 and they were installed on top of four piers spanning the bridge’s pedestrian walkways. The lions were based on the bronze lion sculptures installed in London’s Trafalgar Square in 1867.
To stabilize the lion for outdoor display, CSI’s treatment involved structural stabilization using grouted sock anchors to bridge larger cracks and casting seams. To render the concrete sculpture breathable and to allow for moisture movement, the deteriorated paint coating was removed using CO2 cleaning. The 100-year old concrete required extensive crack repair and void filling, as well as stabilization via multiple cycles of chemical consolidation. Finally, a mineral-coating system was applied to help unify its appearance and offer additional protection the from weathering in its outdoor environment. The final coating system offers a semi-transparent finish so as to protect the sculpture while simultaneously preserving the visual traces of its wear, repair, and endurance over its 100-year presence atop of the Centre Street Bridge.