I’ve first wrote about the Harvey Scott (d. 1910) sculpture by Gutzom Borglum on the top of Mount Tabor in SE Portland in 2005.

Borglum was the designer of Mount Rushmore.

The big bronze sculpture was commissioned in the 1930s by Scott’s widow and family, but is now maintained by RACC, who all agree is an agency spread thin.

Harvey Scott was editor and publisher of The Oregonian, a pioneer of sorts, and local character. His epitaph cut into the granite is “Molder of opinion / in Oregon / and the nation.”

(Actually Scott’s buried at River View Cemetery.)

This visit I notice considerable new corrosion on the bronze, streaking the figure’s face and body with lighter green threads. The corrosion is caused by acids in bird droppings and in rain, and has become pronounced, leaving the sculpture looking forgotten and dreary as it withdraws into the thick piney backdrop.

Too bad. And too bad The Oregonian hasn’t taken notice and offered to provide a the spit and polish required to make Harvey Scott look fresh and new again.

Rehabbing a big bronze would like Borglum’s would be expensive, would put a big dent in RACC’s annual fix-up budget. But the cost of a wash and careful coating with microcrystalline wax would be a trifle to The Oregonian, one of the most profitable newspapers in the nation. Total cost – $15,000, about 1/2 a page ad in Monday’s A section.

EXTRA – Tom Lehrer, Poisoning Pigeons in the Park (mp3, click link to listen)

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