Oakland County dedicates new and old Lady Justice statues

The sheet will come off Oakland County’s Lady Justice, both the new and old versions, on Tuesday in a public ceremony.

The
Oakland County Courthouse will unveil the new statue that will stand
guard at the court’s entrance in downtown Pontiac. It will also feature
a new marble base that will support the piece of public art.

“We’ll
have the original out there as well,” says Steven Stanford, an Oakland
County project coordinator for facilities engineering.

The
year-long project began last year when harsh weather damaged the
original 105-year-old statue, ripping off the scales and cracking her
arm. The Fine Arts Sculpture Center in Clarkston recently conducted a
$40,900 restoration of Lady Justice.

A
long life outdoors has weakened her zinc statue frame to the point that
it must be indoors to survive. The original statue will be kept on
display inside the courthouse for the remainder of its life.

A
new bronze copy of the statue will replace the original in the
courthouse’s south plaza. The county also replaced the stucco base with
one of marble to match the courthouse’s exterior.

The county
bought the 9-foot-tall statue in 1904 from W.H. Mullins, a Salem,
Ohio-based statue manufacturer. She stood guard in front of the old
Oakland County Courthouse until 1962, when the building was demolished.
After spending the next two decades in storage, she was returned to the
plaza in front of the new courthouse.

Source: Steven Stanford, project coordinator for facilities engineering at Oakland County
Writer: Jon Zemke