Remember the Maine

SCULPTOR BOB SHURE (l) of Woburn’s Skylight Studio was all smiles, as was the city’s Veterans Agent Larry Guiseppe (r) as the first step in the restoring of the Battleship Maine cowl memorial was to put the housing in place. (Photo by Jim Haggerty)

WOBURN - Step one is complete.

The city’s Veterans Agent Larry Guisepee joined with Woburn sculptor Bob Shure of Skylight Studios on December 31st as the casing for for the city’s Battleship Maine cowl memorial got a new housing structure.

The actual cowl (an air duct) will be installed later, probably in the spring.

“You know,” reflected Shure who has earned national and international fame, “when I first came to Woburn in the early 1970s, I saw the Veterans Memorial and the Civil War statue and just knew something had to be done.”

The cowl from the Battleship Maine, a prominent structure at the north end of Woburn Common and highly-visible to motorists, was not on the “to fix” list in the early 1970s but other works like the Civil War Memorial and the Veterans Memorial have all been fixed. The Civil War memorial was refurbished at his studios on Salem Street while a brand new Veterans Memorial (courtesy of a $650,000 gift from Woburnite John Flaherty) was totally constructed new and replaced.

“Things are looking good,” said a smiling Veterans Agent Guiseppe, as the two inspected the housing on December 31.

The cowl was part of the USS Maine, the ship that was blown up in Havana harbor that led to the Spanish-American War in 18988.

The restoration began on June 20th. The project is expected to cost $64,000 which will be paid by the Friends of Woburn Veterans., “There will be no cost to the city,” remarked Guiseppe, who is technically the city’s Director of Veterans Services, who noted in talks earlier in the year the enhancement includes a new top. columns and glass.

Guiseppe has kept Mayor Scott Galvin, the City Council, veterans groups and the public informed as to the future of the cowl adding it will remain the same, prominent position at the busy intersection of Winn Street.

Other updating projects included the moving of a memorial at the old Atlantic Gelatin site in East Woburn to Montvale Avenue and Central Street as well as a new, $2,600, 30-foot flag pole at the new softball fields at Gonsalves Park in West Woburn.

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