Wondering what's been going on in the Room? Here's an update on the Four Freedoms inscription.
If you've been to the Park this week, you will have noticed scaffolding constructed in the Room. The scaffolding stands directly in front of the southern face of the sculpture niche. (The sculpture niche is the stone structure that holds the portrait-head of President Roosevelt and on its southern face is inscribed the excerpt of the 1941 Four Freedoms speech.)
The scaffolding is here because we are applying a fresh lithochrome stain to the inscription. As with many memorials, it's important to re-stain letterforms after sun, wind, water and time wash away the stain. We like to make sure our inscriptions always appear sharp and legible!
Nick Benson, who did the original engraving, is working alongside Christine DeMarco and they will be here all week. (Christine also worked with Nick on the World War II and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials in Washington, DC.) Together they are hand-painting lithochrome into each of the v-cut letterforms. There are a total of 464 characters that make up the inscription, this number includes all of the periods, dashes, ellipses, and commas in the excerpt. It's incredibly demanding, physical, slow work that takes time. If you're in the Park this week, preferably on a sunny day (when the lithochrome can dry) you may catch them working away.
See you at the Park, soon!