News & Events

Astor Monument Restored After Hurricane Sandy

May 14, 2013

In October of 2012, much of the northeastern seaboard, New York City in particular, was affected by the massive storm Sandy. As a result of the dramatic weather patterns, the storm caused damage to personal property and cultural heritage. Trinity Cemetery, located in Bronx, New York, was one such heritage site that experienced storm-related damage. The cemetery is the final resting place of noted Americans such as John James Audubon and members of the Astor Family, including John Jacob Astor IV, who perished on the Titanic. The seventeen-foot marble obelisk, which marks the Astor Family Vault, was toppled, after being struck by a tree during the storm, and severely damaged.


In January of 2013, Trinity Church contracted with ICR to document and conserve the damaged obelisk. The stone obelisk is constructed of a fine grain marble characteristic of Italy and Vermont and sits on a marble and granite base. In addition to the damaged caused by the impact, the monument and base were covered with a film of biological growth as well as dirt on the face which was in contact with the earth.


Fortunately, the obelisk broke into six large pieces, which could be rigged and reattached. However, there was one section that shattered upon impact with the ground and required more extensive reconstruction. Once the major components were assembled, the monument was cleaned to remove the biological growth and dirt. A compatible patching material was used to fill areas of loss and match the aesthetics of the surrounding stone. 

The conservation efforts were completed at the end of April 2013 and the monument is standing once again to memorialize the Astor Family.