The rampage a Boston man went on overnight Saturday at historic and religious sites across the city that included damage to graves has left officials facing a $10,000-plus bill for repairs.
A historic masonry company will start work on the Paul Revere monument at the Granary Burying Ground this week, with work expected to be completed by the end of next week, a city spokesperson told the Herald on Tuesday.
The spokesperson expects the cost to fix the grave to be just under $10,000 which the city will cover with capital improvement funding. For now, the capstone and stone slab have been picked up and replaced on their respective bases while the monument’s three grave markers await repairs.
Down the road on Tremont Street, damaged headstones in the King’s Chapel Burying Ground will need to wait longer to be repaired due to the cold temperatures, the spokesperson said. A stone conservator will reset them next spring when the “weather breaks,” with the cost estimated to be in the “several thousands.”
An official with the city Parks and Recreation Department, which manages 16 burying grounds across Boston, met with a historic masonry specialist Tuesday to view the damage the alleged vandal left behind him Saturday.
Police arrested Lawrence Hawkins, 46, at the Southampton Street shelter and charged him in multiple incidents of vandalism after reviewing video surveillance that traced his alleged spree of destruction along sites closely aligned with the Freedom Trail.
Hawkins was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Monday morning, during which he spoke and swore and was chastised by the judge several times. The judge ordered Hawkins to be evaluated by a doctor ahead of a dangerousness hearing and held the suspect on $22,500 bail.
A crowd gathered at the Granary Burying Ground in Tuesday’s blustery conditions for a grave marker ceremony recognizing revolutionary figures Samuel Adams and John Hancock, and their connections to the Boston Tea Party.
Evan O’Brien, creative manager for Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, organized the event, calling the vandalism “disgusting and horrible.” The ground means a “great deal” to him, he said. He started giving tours there in 2002, and it’s where he met his wife.
“This burying ground almost feels like family to me,” O’Brien told the Herald. “To think someone would come in and try to tarnish that, to break any of these stones, to vandalize this sacred space, is despicable to me.”
Hawkins, whom the defense noted on Monday suffers from mental health and substance abuse disorders, also caused damage to the Holocaust Memorial and a nearby Ruth’s Chris Steak House, according to a report from the Boston Police Department.
Brooke Barbier, owner of Ye Olde Tavern Tours, which offers walking tours to visit historic sites and taverns along the Freedom Trail, expressed sadness that someone would cause damage to such “important” places.
“The Granary Burying Ground is our burying ground,” she told the Herald. “It’s not just Boston’s but it’s the nation’s burying ground. Any sort of destruction against it is harmful to all of us whether or not you like or agree with any of the people in here. This is a really important space for our country.”