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Published: Wednesday, 8/23/2006

Perry memorial to reopen

Workers inspected Perry's Victory and International Peace Monument last month. The landmark will reopen Saturday. Workers inspected Perry's Victory and International Peace Monument last month. The landmark will reopen Saturday.

PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio - Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, closed since late June when a 500-pound chunk of granite fell 317 feet, will reopen Saturday, the park superintendent said yesterday.

The National Park Service has conducted two engineering studies that determined the 13 fascia stones on the observation deck above the north entrance are secure, Superintendent Andy Ferguson said.

The reopening is scheduled for 10 a.m.

The cause of the June 22 failure is attributed to water seeping into cracks, coupled with the freeze-thaw cycles and the affects on earlier repairs to the southwest corner.

The upper plaza is cordoned off with a chain-link security fence, and a protected walkway was built to the column.

The fence will remain and sandbags will be placed on the upper plaza to "catch" any other pieces that might fall, Mr. Ferguson said.

This measure should protect the upper plaza from additional damage.

A comprehensive study of the entire monument is planned and the results will be used to determine the costs and best way to repoint and repair the Perry memorial.

Although events around the monument have been well attended, visitation is down 44 percent for July.

In addition, Perry's Victory lost $500 to $1,500 a day, mostly from the $3-a-person fee for visitors to go to the top, he said.

The memorial is billed as the tallest monument with an open-air observation deck in the United States. On a clear day, visitors can see mainland Canada and Cleveland as well as the surrounding islands and coastline of Lake Erie's western basin.

The monument commemorates Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's naval victory in 1813 against a superior British fleet.

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