For the first time since 1896, the John C. Calhoun statue has been removed from Marion Square. It took crews about 17 hours to finally detach the statue from its nearly 100-foot tall base and lower it to the ground on Wednesday, June 24th around 5 pm.
The process to relocate the statue began around midnight Wednesday, just a few hours after Charleston City Council unanimously voted Tuesday evening to remove the monument dedicated to the former vice president and fierce advocate of slavery.
Cheers and singing erupted when the bronze statue was finally plucked from its pedestal and slowly lowered to the ground. Many in the crowd, some of whom had been in the park for hours, documented the moment with their phones before dispersing. A handful remained to watch crews clean concrete dust off the divisive statue’s legs, load it onto a flatbed truck, covering it with tarps, and then drive it away to an undisclosed location.
The statue will eventually be moved to “an appropriate site where it will be protected and preserved.” That location will be determined and announced at a later date. Mayor Tecklenberg said he – in consultation with the council and others – would determine the statue’s new home. The resolution called for it to be moved to a “museum or academic institution.”
The process of removing the statue hit several snags along the way, including a hydraulic issue with one of the two lifts being used by the workers. The crew also had to bring in a diamond band saw to cut through layers of concrete, granite, epoxy, and metal.
You can see video and pictures of the state removal below.
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