"No Longer Fit For Duty"
In the winter of 2008 the statue’s scales were torn loose during a storm and a crack developed in her extended arm. Closer examination showed that a number of cracks and weak spots have developed and it was determined that she was “no longer fit for duty”. To avoid further deterioration or damage she was removed from her pedestal last November and placed in storage pending a plan to make repairs (view photos).
The County's Oldest "Employee"
Manufactured of a zinc alloy by the W. H. Mullins Company of Salem Ohio, the Lady first adorned the dome of the old Oakland County Courthouse in downtown Pontiac in the spring of 1904. In 1962 she was removed prior to the building’s demolition. After over 20 years in storage she was placed in her current location at the 1200 North Telegraph Road Courthouse. She has received a couple of minor restorations over the last 20 years, but the time had come to provide this grand old lady with some badly needed help. After all, she is 105 years old and as the County's oldest “employee” she deserves our attention and some TLC!
After examining proposals for several possible methods of restoration, the County decided to have a full size bronze replica crafted using molds made from the original statue. The work was done by the Fine Arts Sculpture Centre, Inc. of Clarkston Michigan. The new casting is superior in strength to the original statue and has given new life to this important symbol of justice and local government. A new solid marble base will replace the original concrete block and stucco base used to support the statue. Incidentally, the new marble base comes from the same quarry in Georgia that supplied the marble used in the construction of the Courthouse in 1960. The original statue will be cosmetically restored and will be able to be displayed indoors at the Courthouse.
Fundraising efforts will continue to be directed by the County's Department of Facilities Management in the hopes of offsetting the cost of the new statue and base. Individual County employees, the Circuit and Probate Courts, donations from the legal community, and assistance from the Oakland County Bar Association have all helped pay for the project (view list of donors).
You are welcome to participate too. People interested in contributing to the restoration project should send their donations to Penny Knope, Facilities Management, One Public Works Drive, Bldg. 95W, Waterford MI 48328. Checks should be made payable to the County of Oakland. For more information, please send an e-mail to Penny Knope or call 248-858-0163.
We hope you will consider becoming involved in this project.