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Philadelphia City Hall Scaffolding Gone
 
  by: Rebel - Havertown, PA
started: 08/22/11 4:08 pm | updated: 08/22/11 4:08 pm
 
Philadelphia City Hall's scaffolding is finally gone

The most recent phase of the monumental restoration project - the cleaning and sprucing up of City Hall's interior courtyard - has been going on for a couple of years.

The whole project, has cost about $83 million in capital funding for the facades. Cleaning the tower sculptures ran about $2 million in public and private funding.

The multi-decade project is thought to be the largest restoration of a masonry facade ever undertaken anywhere.

The open courtyard will serve as a performance venue next summer, thanks to funding from the Knight Foundation for City Hall Presents.
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The whole project, began under Mayor Ed Rendell, was ignited by Mayor John F. Street in 2000, and is almost complete under Mayor Nutter. Scaffolding in the courtyard came down at the end of July, and on Aug. 12, fencing and other remnants of the project were escorted off the property.

Scaffolding has been a fixture of City Hall since the 1980s, when the tower, rusted and peeling, was encased for years. Citizens rallied and chipped in more than $700,000 to Free Billy Penn, as buttons worn all over town put it.

Friday afternoon, workers were polishing brass. Two doors need additional work. Window restorations are planned. All will come officially to an end at the end of November.

Portions of the exterior remain unrenovated - the portals leading to the courtyard, for instance - but there is no funding to continue the project, said the city's chief cultural officer, Gary Steuer.
 
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