Compass restoration is step in the right direction for City Hall courtyard [photos]


A well-worn piece of Philadelphia public art is getting a major makeover. 

Back in 1994 to mark William Penn’s 350th birthday, Edmund Bacon paid for the installation of a compass that looks like a tile mosaic in City Hall’s courtyard.  

The city’s Mural Arts Program staff artist Nathaniel Lee is overseeing the restoration.

“This is the very center of the original plan for the city of Philadelphia, so this was made to to honor and to commemorate this location,” Lee said.

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The job includes 365 triangles, zodiac signs and compass points in gold leaf.

“We’re going to be sealing this really well to help it last as best as it can, and we’ll be putting this stuff called ‘shark grip’ in there so that gives it a grit so when you walk across it,” he said. “It will have great traction and won’t be slippery.”

While the work  has been time consuming, Lee said paint for the project cost only about $1,000.

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