Nova Scotia

Work underway to restore parts of Grand-Pré National Historic Site

The memorial church at the Grand-Pré National Historic Site and the statue of Longfellow's Évangéline part of a restoration program that will be completed in 2021.

Memorial church, statue of Longfellow's Évangéline to get makeovers

The memorial church at the Grand-Pré National Historic Site is being restored. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Masons have been busy restoring parts of the park in Grand-Pré, N.S., where Acadians once thrived prior to their expulsion in 1755.

The memorial church at the Grand-Pré National Historic Site and the statue of Longfellow's Évangéline will all be restored.

"The main work that has been done so far has been on the memorial church," said Mathieu D'Astous, national historic sites and visitor experience manager for Grand-Pré. "Mostly it's masonry and carpentry work on the structure where it's deteriorated over time."

A large lunette window above the main entrance is also being repaired.

A mason smooths a concrete compound between stones on the facade of the memorial church at the Grand-Pré National Historic Site. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The church has been closed since the work began in early September.

"The church is approaching it's 100th anniversary and there were structural issues that were becoming apparent, so the timing seems right to get that restoration work done," said D'Astous.

The focus of the work has been repointing the old stones in the church facade. That work should be done by the end of this year.

The base of the monument of Évangéline will be repaired in the spring of 2021. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The rest of the work on the monuments, including the Longfellow statue, the Herbin cross and the Coming of the New England Planters cairn at nearby Horton Landing, will be completed in the spring of 2021.

"In the case of Évangéline, they are going to be doing a new concrete foundation," said D'Astous, who said the 100th anniversary of the Évangéline monument was this summer.

The Government of Canada has earmarked $737,000 in federal infrastructure funding to protect Grand-Pré National Historic Site.

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