Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park
psi at work with a small chisel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Howlett working on the restoration of Smith’s Iwo Jima monument, 1977

 

Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park
Phillips, WI: 1997-78, 1987 to the present

We have worked on the preservation of Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park (Phillips, WI), together, since 1987.

In 1977 Don Howlett and Sharron Quasius were hired by Kohler Foundation, Inc. (KFI), to work on the restoration of Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park.  This was one of the early projects addressing the preservation of an art environment. They began work in the spring, repairing broken elements and moving sculptures from the tavern property (which had been sold separately) to a newly established park area. Early in the project (7/4/77) a tremendous windstorm swept through the area causing extensive damage to the site. If a restoration project had not been in process, the site surely would have been bulldozed. Howlett and Quasius fully restored the damaged sculptures with further assistance from KFI and emergency funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wisconsin Arts Board. In 1978 the site was deeded to Price County by KFI and became a public, county park.

Howlett and Stone have worked on the preservation of Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park together since 1987. In 1995 we worked with Wisconsin Concrete Park enthusiasts in Price County to form Friends of Fred Smith, Inc., http://www.friendsoffredsmith.org/,  which oversees the preservation and conservation of the sculptures, landscape and the historic Smith Family House, and develops educational programs, in partnership with local arts and community organizations.

The goal of annual conservation projects is to preserve the site as closely as possible to its original condition, as created by and in the spirit of Fred Smith, and to integrate it within the extensive changes that have occurred to the site since its creation.

Stone wrote the nomination for the Wisconsin Concrete Park to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places; the site was listed in 2005.

Please click here to see a selection of images

of conservation activities at the Wisconsin Concrete Park from 2002 to 2009. Additional information is available upon request.