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Harvard's World War II War Memorial is expected to be ready for dedication by the opening of college next September, architect Henry R. Shepley '10 said yesterday. Work on the plaque, to be installed in the Memorial Chapel, will not begin until May 1, because of delays in cutting the rough marble and laying out the lettering.
The total cost of the project will be as much as ten percent beneath the $75,000 budget, Shepley also announced. The original estimate was named on the basis of using separately cast bronze raised letters. But use of carved-in tinted letters instead brings down the cost.
The imported Champville marble is now in New York, in one piece approximately six by six by 12 feet. It will be brought to Boston to be cut into slabs the proper size and then carvers will start work in the studio of the John Evans Company.
New England has a limited number of carvers, but the ten best should be able to finish the first of the ten columns of names by May 15. After this first stage, work will speed up.
Each one of the estimated 16,000 letters will be hand-carved. The letters in the headings will be three inches high, the capitals in the names one and three quarters inches, and the small letters one and a half.
V-cuts in the letters will be rounded for greater visibility, and the inside will be glazed and gold-leafed. Gilding will give the effect of flickering movement across the plaque. The color of the marble is a "warm beige," Shepley said.
After Commencement the plaster in the Chapel will be torn out and be replaced by backing for the marble. The plaque is 25 ft. high, and 42 ft., long.
Forty classes, from 1904 to 1948, are represented on the plaque, together with the faculty, Law School, Medical School, Business School, and 11 other University departments.
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