Santa Monica Lookout
|Landmark Commission to Review ‘Chain Reaction’ Testing|
By Lookout Staff
An analysis to determine the structural integrity of former L.A. Times cartoonist Paul Conrad’s creation began earlier this month, but Landmark Commissioners at their meeting Tuesday will review and approve specific conditions for how the testing will be carried out.
Earlier this month, a conservator and a structural engineer began designing special scaffolding to get a better look into the sculpture’s interior, particularly its mushroom cloud dome.
But some of the supporting fasteners are missing, are not fully imbedded, or are showing signs of corrosion, according to a previous City analysis of the sculpture.
The conditions outlined by the Landmark Commission’s staff seek to make the testing as least invasive as possible.
“Only the minimum amount of chain links for adequate access shall be ‘disturbed’ (not necessarily removed) for purposes of allowing for the additional structural testing,” according to the conditions.
“Removal of the chain links shall be avoided except to the extent necessary to perform the inspection of the structural integrity without moving the sculpture’s cap.”
The conservator also will be required to document all the alterations to the sculpture and prepare a written report for the Landmarks Commission “upon completion of Phase II testing,” including recommendations for “further stabilizing of the landmark sculpture.”
“Chain Reaction” got a reprieve in March 2012 when the Council voted to give its supporters more time to raise money for repairs. (“Santa Monica’s Begins Assessing ‘Chain Reaction,” April 3, 2015.)
To pay for the repair work, Save Chain Reaction, led by David Conrad, the artist’s son, raised more than $100,000.
In February, the City Council voted to pay for the rest of the repair work, which could cost as much as $423,000.
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