Water damages King statue at courthouse

Blame it on the rain.

Water damage has weakened the speckled black granite base holding the silicon bronze statue of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Westchester County Courthouse. According to county spokeswoman Lynne Bedell Smith, the base became brittle and started to deteriorate because of water infiltration. The county’s Department of Public Works started repairs on Friday with a contractor and roped off the statue with metal barriers and yellow “caution” tape. The tape was taken down this afternoon, but the stripped-down base remains.

Smith said they will cap the base so no more water will damage the base, which typically displays a timeline of King’s life and the names of county officials who approved the 20-foot, two-ton bronze monument of the slain civil rights leader.

“This is a regular county maintenance project by the DPW,” Smith said. “The contractor is not specific to this project – apparently he does all the county’s cement and concrete work. The county has the responsibility to maintain the statue and so will be paying any costs.”

The statue, created by artist Milton Sherrill of Mount Vernon, was unveiled in 2007 and cost $350,000.

Rebecca Baker

Rebecca Baker joined The Journal News in March 2004. She covers Eastchester, Bronxville and Tuckahoe, and was previously the state and county courts reporter in Westchester County. In prior jobs, she covered the Town of Greenburgh and Rockland County government and politics. Before coming to The Journal News, she was a municipal reporter for newspapers in New Haven, Conn. and Warren, Ohio.