Corydon square once again open to public
An imposing chain-link fence ‘ which was topped in many places by barbed wire ‘ was removed from around Corydon’s town square last week, signifying major construction on the property has, after almost seven months, come to a close.
Among other things, work included the addition of drainage pipes around the First State Capitol Building, the addition of four rain gardens to capture water from the square, work on the Hurley D. Conrad Memorial Bandstand and the construction of a storage building beside it, electrical work on the square and an irrigation system. While major construction is complete, there are plenty of things left to do to get the square ready for the state’s 2016 bicentennial.
‘Additional plants will be going in the rain gardens. In the corner rain garden behind the O’Bannon memorial will be mostly blue flag iris, blue wild indigo and blue switch grass. Some shrubs known as Little Henry Virginia Sweetspire and one Bald Cypress tree are also part of that area plan,’ Laura Minzes of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites said. ‘The other (rain gardens) near the front of the Capitol are entirely the blue flag iris. In the center of the paved square, there are again the sweetspire and the low ground cover of big blue lilyturf, which is also what is by the Capitol itself.’
Minzes said some of the 10 or 11 trees going in include sugar maple, American elm (provided by Society of Indiana Pioneers), a tulip tree (Indiana’s state tree), white oak and flowering trees red bud and service berry.
Additionally, a variety of perennials will be planted around the bandstand.
‘Finally, we are having an arborist come in and do appropriate pruning and mulching for the existing trees on the square. This is an effort to get the area looking the very best it can for 2016. Spring around there ought to look just fabulous,’ Minzes said.
Because of the five weeks of rains in early summer, an overwhelming majority of the project is ending up finishing when originally planned. What’s left ‘ outside of landscaping ‘ are the installation of light poles and bollards which will be installed as soon as they arrive. Once those are received, there will be about four days of installation work. Minzes said everything will be in place by Dec. 11. Also, gutters on the First State Capitol Building will be going up in the next month.
Regarding Light Up Corydon, which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 28, the hope is that grass will be hearty enough to hold the substantial crowd.
‘If the rains fall right, we should have grass. Most of the trees on the square that required heavy equipment on the grounds either died or were removed. I don’t think that it will be a concern as other trees will be planted and should be able to be decorated carefully,’ Minzes said. ‘(Site director Bec Riley) has been working diligently with Jeremy (Yackle of the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau) on the details and how to make it look good without damage to the work just completed.’
The entire project was estimated to cost nearly $1.1 million, which Minzes said at last year’s project unveiling that $621,420 would come from the state, $177,580 would come from the Indiana State Museum and $300,000 would come from private donors, which could include the general public, tourism and town or county entities. The project also included work on the Porter Law Office building, as well as continue with the refurbishment of the Constitution Elm and its sandstone monument, which is taking place now.