Howard Monument Restoration

HOWARD PYRAMID

Mark Howard (1817-1887) was a successful insurance executive, most noted for proposing a dual responsibility system (now known as the deductible). He was also active in politics and is credited with helping to establish the Republican Party in Connecticut. After organizing a system for collections, Abraham Lincoln appointed Howard the state’s first internal revenue collector. Howard also made considerable profits in western land deals.

Howard commissioned New England Granite Works, owned and operated by James Batterson, the founder of Travelers, to create the monument for his large lot on Section 5. The 18-foot tall red Westerly granite pyramid exemplifies the Victorian taste for Egyptian style and ornamentation. Fashionable throughout the 19th century and into the 1920s, the style incorporated motifs and imagery of ancient Egypt. The pagan origins of the pyramid, which referenced the sun god Ra, aroused some concern amongst religious groups. As a result, pyramids in American cemeteries often include Christian symbols, commonly angels.

In the case of the Howard monument, an angel is waiting to escort you through the gates of heaven. The pyramid includes other symbolic motifs. The inverted torches on either side of the doorway symbolize life extinguished and the butterflies on the front steps symbolize resurrection.

Recommended Treatment of Angel Statue:
The marble sculpture is soiled, marred by gypsum deposits, and exhibits minor cracks and material losses to the toes, nose, right hand, left finger and right wing. The noted concerns are both visually distracting and can lead to future deterioration. Treatment includes cleaning, removing deposits, consolidating stone and replacing losses to address both cosmetic and preservation concerns.

Conservator’s Estimate: $25,000

Thank you to the William and Alice Mortensen Foundation for its generous grant support of the Howard monument restoration. The Mortensen Foundation awarded Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation a $6,250 grant which we seek to match with donations designated for our Monument Fund.

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