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State of Iowa Monuments Survey, Spring 2002

A contract for the assessment of nearly thirty monuments in the State of Iowa was awarded to McKay Lodge Inc. in January 2002. Most of the monuments are located on the grounds of the State Capitol in Des Moines; others are located in Marshalltown and one in Spirit Lake in the northwestern corner of the state. The monuments vary greatly in materials and construction but one stands out: the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at the State of Iowa Capitol Complex. This limestone and bronze monument designed by sculptor Carl Rohl-Smith (1848-1900) and built between 1890 and 1896 features many colossal bronze sculptures and an obelisk that reaches a height of over 135 feet. Carl Rohl-Smith, a Danish artist who worked in the United States from 1886, had a studio in Washington, DC where he designed the Sherman Monument in front of the Treasury Building. A crane will be used to send the conservators to the top for inspection of the finial bronze to include in the State of Iowa monuments survey.

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