"Prosperity always inflates the imprudent, and worldly peace weakens the vigor of the soul." - Peter Abelard

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Eagle Has Flown

 The famous WHS weathervane on its final flight. Photo courtesy of Roger Gurney.
This story was originally published in the May 12th issue of The Wellesley Townsman.
What’s Going On: As you may have noticed, the prominent Wellesley High School tower is currently vane-less. On April 19, a crew of seven workers and two cranes from Turner Construction Company carefully dismantled and removed the weathervane from the top of the tower. It was sawed into five different pieces, which will be reassembled later. The weathervane is now being stored at Nor’East Architectural Antiques in South Hampton, N.H., and will undergo renovations this summer before returning to Wellesley in the fall.  

Why: The historic weathervane, which was designed as a sculptural piece especially for WHS by Robert C. Dean in 1938, includes a soaring eagle along with the traditional compass points. Long a beloved symbol of Wellesley, current construction plans call for the eagle and selected other parts of the weathervane to be refurbished and featured in the front lobby of the new high school building. The renovation is expected to take several months, and the weathervane will likely be installed in the fall before the new school’s planned February opening. The weathervane is mostly made of sheet copper, with steel reinforcement, and was completely covered in gold leaf before the weather took its toll.

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