Removing Confederate statue from Springfield Park could cost at least $1.2 million

City to ask council approve legislation to remove statue, email shows

Statue covered in tarp and rope in Springfield Park on July 22, 2021.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The estimated cost for the removal of the Confederate monument at Springfield Park could cost more than $1 million, an email sent from the city to Jacksonville City Council members shows.

According to the email obtained by News4Jax, the potential $1.29 million price tag to remove the Women of the Southern Confederacy monument from the park does not include additional expenses that would be related to storing or preserving the statue.

The email from Chief Administrative Officer Brian Hughes said the city will soon be asking the council to approve the legislation needed to remove the monument.

“Even before we got the attached estimate, I let the mayor know this would require City Council approval because the cost would easily cross the threshold in ordinance,” Hughes wrote. “Furthermore, the source of dollars would certainly be the CIP and require Council approval.”

Hughes said the cost of removal is high in part because it is considered a “significant piece of public art that was done by an artist named Allen Newman.”

“Whatever your thoughts on the subject matter, it is believed to be a very valuable sculpture. In addition, it is massive in size and weight. So it was clear that removal would take a very intricate and well-planned process,” Hughes wrote.

The city’s show of support comes amid renewed calls for the statue’s removal in recent weeks.

In June 2020, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry ordered that the Confederate statue in what was then known as Hemming Park, now James Weldon Johnson Park, be removed. At that time, Curry also announced that all Confederate monuments in the city would be removed.

The Northside Coalition last month called for Curry to follow through with that promise.

“We say take them down and we say let’s go talk to the mayor join us,” said Ben Frazier, with the Northside Coalition.

Hughes said “a diverse group of historians, art experts, and community members” has been reviewing the remainder of the monuments and markers affiliated with Civil War and Confederacy from the city since last year.

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Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.