Nate Formalarie, Communications Director
Agency of Commerce and Community Development
BENNINGTON MONUMENT TO BE ILLUMINATED IN UKRAINIAN FLAG COLORS
Monument will be Illuminated Each Evening for the Next Six Weeks
Bennington, Vt. – The Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s Division for Historic Preservation announces the illumination of the Bennington Battle Monument in support of the people of Ukraine. The 306-foot Monument will be illuminated for six weeks, from April 18th to May 26th during the hours of sunset to 11:59pm. This is a one-time special illumination event.
The lighting of the Monument in the Ukrainian colors of blue and yellow will begin on Monday, April 18th at 8:00pm. If people wish to see the initial lighting, please arrive no earlier than 7:30pm at the Monument. Participants are invited to bring candles and luminaries.
“President Zelenskyy has told the world that acts of solidarity and showings of support are appreciated by the brave people of Ukraine,” said Governor Phil Scott. “Although on an individual level, there is little any one of us can do, we must continue to come together to show our support, and I appreciate the people of Bennington for coming forward with this idea. The State was happy to help make this happen.”
The tallest man-made structure in the State of Vermont, the 306-foot Monument was completed in 1889 to commemorate the 1777 Battle of Bennington, a pivotal victory for the colonial forces on the New England front during the American Revolution. The exterior of the stone Monument is constructed of Sandy Hill dolomite, a blue gray magnesian limestone quarried in New York.
One of the greatest challenges for illuminating the Monument is the dark colored stone, which absorbs colored lights rather than reflecting. The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, stewards of the Monument since 1953, engaged Kirick Engineering Associates of Williston to identify illumination options for the exterior lighting system that has been shining on the historic obelisk since 2003.
Custom colored lens adapters, produced by Lawrence Ribbecke Glass Studio, were fitted on the existing lights with metal frames by Conant Metal and Light to give the best illumination of blue and yellow. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) assisted with approvals of this temporary option, ensuring the safety of aeronautical space due to the Monument’s tapered shaped and proximity to the William H. Morse State Airport.
“The special illumination in blue and yellow of this Vermont icon was important to us, but it was not just a matter of changing the light bulbs,” said State Historic Preservation Officer Laura V. Trieschmann. “We had to ensure the aging lighting system was up to the task, get approvals from our partners in Old Bennington and at the FAA, and have special colored lens adapters produced.”
The State of Vermont wishes to thank all those partners who worked so quickly to make this illumination happen: Department of Building and General Services (BGS), Agency of Transportation Aviation Division, Trustees of the Village of Old Bennington, Bennington legislative delegation, Congressman Peter Welch’s office, Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Kirick Engineering, Ribbecke Glass Studio, and Conant Metal and Light.
The Bennington Battle Monument will be opening for the 2022 season on May 28th. The Monument is operated by the Division for Historic Preservation, which is part of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. For information on the State Historic Sites, please visit https://historicsites.vermont.gov/.