In the summer of 2012, just before opening the Park to the public, The John Stevens Shop, an engraving company based in Newport, Rhode Island, stationed themselves on rows of scaffolding in the Room. Over the course of many weeks, they hand-chiseled all of the 97 words that make up the excerpt of the Four Freedoms speech. Each letter is formed by a series of v-shaped cuts and then hand painted with a light grey stain in order to give the final text fascinating shadow and depth.
If you've been to the Park lately, however, you may have noticed that the Four Freedoms speech has been a bit tricky to read; that's because much of the grey stain has faded and washed away since we opened. Starting on Thursday, May 15, we will install scaffolding in the Room and Nick Benson of The John Stevens Shop will be back to re-stain these letters by hand. The scaffolding will remain until Saturday, May 24. We will be working with a new-and-improved stain that won't wash away as quickly. If you're in the Room this week, you'll see that the Four Freedoms speech will not be visible due to the erected scaffolding. Thank you for bearing with us as we take on this improvement.
Here's the speech, as engraved in the Room:
Check out The John Stevens Shop stone engravers chipping away the granite back in May 2012: