The Saratoga Springs City Council has accepted a donation by the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation to make a repair to the architectural surround of the Spirit of Life and Spencer Trask Memorial in Congress Park, a National Historic Landmark. In 2019 a baluster of the surround was stolen.
Historic preservationist say Congress Park has seen increased use, in part, due to the many restoration projects that the City of Saratoga Springs Department of Public Works has undertaken over the years. In 2015, the Foundation, in partnership with the City of Saratoga Springs, completed a $750,000 restoration of the Spirit of Life and Spencer Trask Memorial and, most recently, the Katrina Trask Gateway Memorial was restored by the City.
With the City facing economic challenges as a result of COVID, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation will restore the missing baluster in the upcoming months, with the assistance of PCC Contracting, and have two additional balusters replicated should a repair be needed in the future.
Since the completion of the restoration in 2015, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation has donated lighting, geraniums, and regularly schedules volunteers to assist with maintaining the landscape of the Memorial. Within the past year, volunteers have donated 250 hours to maintain the landscape.
Anyone interested in volunteering, contact the Foundation at (518) 587-5030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Memorial was unveiled and gifted to the City of Saratoga Springs on June 26, 1915 by Katrina Trask and George Foster Peabody to memorialize Spencer Trask who played a critical role in preserving the spring waters of Saratoga. It was designed by sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Henry Bacon, who were also responsible for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., as well as Charles Leavitt Jr. who designed the surrounding landscape.
Photos, from above: Spirit of Life Missing Balustrade; and Spirit of Life Damaged Baluster provided.