In December of 2010 a scrap metal thief made off with a number of bronze and copper plaques that once adorned the Benton Circle rock, along with the Kennedy Memorial and the William Royster memorial located at Concourse Park.
Since that time, the Parks and Recreation department has been trying to determine the best way to have the plaques re-cast and re-mounted in the park. According to Jordan Cline, a landscape architect with Parks and Rec, the project is progressing, albeit slowly.
“We are looking into putting the Benton plaques on an interpretive panel and locating it to the southwest of the circle in the park along one of the sidewalks,” Cline said. “We have been evaluating what is the safest, most accessible, cost-effective and protected way to display the plaques.”
The Parks Department has one of the Benton Circle plaques in storage and will work to recreate the other in a re-casting using new material that is not as conducive to scrap thieves. Either a plastic resin or an aluminum that would have the same patina as the bronze are the most popular and cost-efficient ways to recreate the plaques.
According to Cline, the Royster and Kennedy plaques would be put back in their original locations. No time frame for the project’s completion was given.