BackgroundThe Santa Claus statue was designed and constructed by Ralph Fletcher Seymour of Chicago, Illinois, for Carl A. Barrett of New Harmony, Indiana. Created in Chicago, the statue was transported to Santa Claus, Indiana, where it was erected and dedicated on Christmas Day in 1935. The statue is approximately twenty-two feet high and was cast in several sections with a hollow interior.
SolutionWJE professional staff reviewed historic construction documents to gain a deeper understanding of the structure's material composition and repair history. Following the review of documents, WJE performed a field investigation to obtain a measure of the existing physical condition of the statue.
Careful sound testing and delamination surveys were conducted over the majority of the statue's surface to detect areas of subsurface cracking, delamination, spalling near joints, and deterioration of plaque areas caused by a combination of freeze-thaw damage and corrosion of embedded reinforcing steel. Limited microscopic laboratory studies were also conducted to characterize the concrete and observed deterioration.
Based upon WJE's investigation, repairs were recommended to reduce further deterioration and loss of original features and details. WJE recommended that materials match the original concrete and facing mortar in color, texture, and finish.