Repairing a Damaged Column from Ancient Carthage

Preparing the damaged column for transport to Ottavino stone works for repair
Vanderbilt Museum photo

Experts from the A. Ottavino Corp. today used a crane to lift a storm-damaged Vanderbilt column from ancient Carthage (modern-day Tunisia) onto a large flat-bed truck. They took the column to their 35,000-square-foot stone works in Ozone Park, N.Y., for repair.

A fierce wind storm on October 30 uprooted a massive tree next to the arc of six columns near the entrance to the Vanderbilt Estate. As it fell, the tree knocked over one of the columns. The column hit the stone wall that overlooks the Vanderbilt Boathouse and Northport Bay, and the carved top, or capital, broke off.

Each of the columns is 14 feet high, 59 inches in circumference, and weighs 4,000 pounds. The Cipollino marble was quarried on the Greek island of Euboea. William K. Vanderbilt II relocated the columns from his first Long Island home, Deepdale in Lake Success, when he built Eagle’s Nest, his Centerport estate and the home of the Vanderbilt Museum.

Ottavino, a third-generation family business founded in 1913 by Italian immigrant Adamo Ottavino, has worked on significant projects that include the Statue of Liberty, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the main branch of the New York Public Library, Columbia University Medical Center, and Brooklyn Borough Hall.

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