-By Billy Galvin
On Wednesday, March 30, the National Park Service (NPS), in coordination with the Charlestown Neighborhood Council (CNC) held a public hearing at the Bunker Hill Museum to discuss the up-coming interior repairs to the Bunker Hill Monument.
NPS Superintendent Cassius Cash opened the meeting by emphasizing that the NPS is dedicated to working with the community on all NPS Charlestown issues, and that past coordination has made for better projects for both the NPS and for Charlestown. He spoke of the many ongoing programs at the monument, and about new programs involving the geography of the battle ground and about the soldiers who fought the battle. He said that the NPS was sensitive to the closing of the monument during a peak visitor period, but it was necessary for the work to be done when the air temperature was above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. He also said that the renovations should not interfere with Bunker Hill week activities.
Architect Bill Barlow reviewed the work to be done which includes repointing the entire interior of the monument and replacing the existing handrail with a stainless steel one which will eliminate future corrosion. He also stated that the work will begin in mid-April and continue for 90 to 120 days which should mean completion near the end of July.
NPS Deputy Superintendent Celeste Bernardo and Supervisory Park Ranger Ethan Beeler informed those present that nothing in the monument Lodge would be disturbed and that all canons and statues would be protected and preserved. They are looking forward to two new book signings about the Battle of Bunker Hill which will take place during Bunker Hill week.
Residents attending included representatives of the Bunker Hill Monument Association, the Charlestown Historical Society and the Monument Square Association, all of whom spoke favorably about the proposed plans.