After weeks of protests
, vandalism and debate over whether efforts to remove the city's Confederate Monument are akin to ISIS (really
), St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson is finally making good on her promise to rid Forest Park of the 32-foot-tall granite shaft that was placed there in 1915.
This morning, workers lifted the top off the monument. Here's video
of the removal action, courtesy of KMOX's Michael Calhoun.
But before you start tossing the confetti, note that today's monumental news is just a prelude.
"The whole thing is not going coming down today," says Krewson spokesman Koran Addo. Rather, he says city engineers are still planning the logistics of moving fourteen separate stone hunks of revisionist history. The central shaft alone weighs 40 tons, and the full structure tips the scales at 150 tons.
According to Addo, the full removal of the monument could happen within days, though the work could be delayed a bit longer.
"It depends on what the engineers figure out today, and what the weather is like," Addo says. "I don't want to say that it's going to linger into July. It should come down this month."
City Treasurer Tishaura Jones has raised $16,655 for removal through a GoFundMe
campaign, but Krewson has also indicated that she plans to use some city dollars to pay for the takedown. However, Addo tells RFT that the mayor herself has already raised most of the money necessary for the monument's full removal, which is estimated to run around $112,000. The "vast majority" of the money will come from private donations, says Addo.
A committee hearing to discuss a bill authorizing removal
had been scheduled by the city's Board of Aldermen for this evening. But it looks like Krewson now has the jump on them.
Editor's Note: The story was updated at 5:45 pm to include additional details from Addo on Mayor Lyda Krewson's fundraising efforts and the estimated cost of the monument's removal.
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com