No small effort: The completion of condition assessments of over 500 outdoor sculptures for the City of Philadelphia

Nicholas F. Veloz


As a very insightful decision, the City Philadelphia decided in order to preserve their public art it was first necessary for them to know what they had and what condition it was in. The initial effort was a survey of the outdoor sculpture and I was selected through the “Request for Proposals” procedure. I knew it was more than one person could handle so I assembled a “team” of conservators, student assistants, and data entry people to complete the survey. The project was initiated in the early spring of 1997 and began to show usable data in the summer of 1999. This paper will discuss the procedures followed in completing the project, successes and pitfalls, and will address the final inventory as submitted to the City. The City of Philadelphia representative for completion of the project will also discuss it from the City ‘s perspective – what they wanted, what they received, and what they are doing and hope to do with the information. The final database as submitted will also shown, either as a part of the paper or at some other time during the conference.