Restore the Statues!

$150,000 is Needed to Restore, Illuminate & Maintain these Historic Treasures!

Delayed maintenance and neglect of many kinds of art work, architectural features and other structures in Milwaukee’s parks have put many unique features in danger of permanently disappearing from our public spaces.

Juneau Park and its historic, irreplaceable statues of Solomon Juneau and Leif, the Discover are owned by Milwaukee County, but there is no County funding or plan to maintain them. Private funding can save them and our historic heritage.

Restoration and cleaning are needed now! The statues were last restored over 20 years ago, years longer than the customary time between treatments, especially in the harsh environment of Lake Michigan’s lakeshore. They need old coating removed and new coating and patina applied. Water and ice have damaged Juneau’s rifle and the stone bases of both statues. Lead pointing has pulled away from stone joints, and rosettes securing irreplaceable plaques to the Juneau base are missing. Delayed treatment would make future care much more expensive, if at all possible.

Conservation of Sculpture & Objects Studio, Inc. has been chosen to clean and restore the statues. CSOS cleaned and restored Leif, the Discoverer in 1994 and is currently restoring George Washington from Milwaukee’s Court of Honor on W. Wisconsin Ave.

The Juneau site will be illuminated for the 1st time ever by 2 in ground, energy saving lights. At the Leif site, 2 more of the same fixtures will replace an outdated, pole-mounted light. Power lines to both sites will be buried, and a photocell will control the lights. Milwaukee’s Staff Electric Co. has been chosen for the job.

The statues’ newly applied patina and coating will protect the artwork longer with regular care. A maintenance fund to pay for future cleaning and waxing on a regular schedule will be established.

Help Now to Restore the Statues

Solomon Juneau

The statue of Solomon Juneau, Milwaukee’s first mayor and its first postmaster, was commissioned by Milwaukee entrepreneurs, William Metcalf and Charles Bradley, who knew and admired Juneau from their early years in Milwaukee. Sculptor Richard H. Park was commissioned to create the statue specifically for placement in Juneau Park, Milwaukee’s first planned park. Dressed in buckskin and carrying a rifle in one hand, the figure looks westward over the City of Milwaukee. Two bronze bas-relief plaques show Juneau trading with Menomonee Indians and in the city council chamber at the time of his installation as Mayor. The statue, which stands atop a granite pedestal, was dedicated in July, 1887, and it is still in its original location. It was last restored in 1996.

Leif Erikson

The statue of Leif, the Discoverer depicts the young Viking in a suit of mail on the prow of his ship around 1002. Its sculptor, Anne Whitney, was
notable as a successful sculptor of public art at a time when few other female artists enjoyed similar success. On one side of the carved red sandstone pedestal is the inscription “Leif, son of Erik the Red” in runic characters. On the pedestal’s west side is a Celtic cross and the inscription “Leif the discoverer son of Erik who sailed from Iceland and landed on this continent.” A gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Thorp Gilbert, the statue was installed in Juneau Park in October, 1887. It was moved away from the bluff’s unstable edge in 1994, when it was last restored.

Thank You

To those who are helping Juneau Park Friends to Restore the Statues!

As of May 25, $90,000 of the needed $150,000 has been raised to restore, illuminate, and secure future maintenance of Juneau Park’s two historic statues, Solomon Juneau and Leif, the Discoverer.  Contributors are government agencies, private foundations, corporations, and individuals.

We thank everybody for their generosity!


Fossselyngen Lodge, Sons of Norway
Spray-O-Bond Co.

$10,000 – $19,999

Family of Helen (Happy) Popalisky
Milwaukee County, Park Amenities Matching Grant
Prairie Springs: The Paul Fleckenstein and R A Stevens Foundations, matching grant

$5,000 – $9,999

City of Milwaukee Arts Board, Public Art Conservation Fund, matching grant
Herb Kohl Philanthropies
Prairie Springs: The Paul Fleckenstein Charitable Trust

$1,000 – $4,999

Antiquarian Society of WI
Chapman Foundation
The Chipstone Foundation
Lisa & Mick Hatch
Steve Kaplan
Donald & Barbara Layden
Gerald & Elaine Mainman
George & Julie Mosher
Sprecher Brewing Co., Milwaukee County Parks Traveling Beer Garden

$500 – $999

Mimi Mullenax
Barry Mandel
Sons of Norway Foundation
Nita Soref

$250 – $499

Shelley & Greg Bultman
Diane & David Buck
Sara & John Eldredge
Lynde Uihlein

$1 – $249

Joan Brengel
William & Maureen Carollo
Deborah Conta
Daniel & Mary Czarnecki
Karen Drummond
Bob & Annette Ellis
John & Teresa Fortier
John & Joanne Fowler
Leonard & Diana Goldstein
Thomas & Karen Guszkowski
Steve Jacobs & Patricia Curley
Mark Haberberger
Hal Horneffer
Sandy & Kjell Johansen
Hilkka Kaja
Candace Lesak
Wayne Lueders
Steven Marcus
Susan Oster
JoAnne Schmidt
Marsha Sehler
Carolyn  Jane Sweers Revocable Trust
Sandy & Emilee Walter
Sharon Wolf