Friday, October 10, 2014

Houdini grave restoration details revealed

S.A.M. present-elect David Bowers and current president "Ice" McDonald.

Last month we learned that the Society of American Magicians planned to undertake a restoration of Houdini's grave in Queens, NY. Now Christopher Barca in the Queens Chronicle has revealed details of exactly what this restoration will entail.

The project will be done in two phases and may take a total of two years to complete, according to S.A.M. president Kenrick "Ice" McDonald and president-elect David Bowers, who visited the plot last week.

In the first phase, the glass S.A.M. mosaic, which is caked in dirt and missing several tiles, will be repaired. The entire exedra will then be power-washed in order to restore its original gray color.

The second phase will be to replace the missing headstones of Leopold and Gladys Weiss, which have been absent from the plot since 1993. This is especially good news. Let's hope that the plan is to restore or match the originals.

The total cost of the project is still undetermined as the society is waiting on a price estimate for the mosaic's repair. Bowers said it is a foregone conclusion that the S.A.M. will approve the funding request.

"Houdini is responsible for the Society of American Magicians being what it is today," said Bowers. "We feel like we owe a debt of gratitude to him."

While the plot remains under the control of Machpelah Cemetery management, the S.A.M, along with Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz of the Houdini Museum in Scranton, will be in charge of the restoration.

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  1. Excellent news. Better late than never. Bravo gentlemen.

  2. We will be going this coming week to the cemetery, in the middle of a very busy Halloween season, to meet with several important players and artisans involved in this important project. We hope to be able to send out a notice on this, if we can find the time. We also have our yearly Original Houdini Seance on Halloween, and an important secret Houdini project to be announced soon, our 9th year doing our Haunted Seance show, a new show to be announced we are mounting this coming year, etc. We can be seen on The Travel Channel's latest show "Mysteries At the Museum" about "Doyle and Houdini", which they uploaded on YouTube, or check their schedule. It is the lead story.

    Dick Brookz and Dorothy Dietrich
    The Houdini Museum
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini

  3. I wonder how Houdini managed to get around the tradition that monuments are prohibited in Jewish cemeteries. Was he allowed to build his exedra because he was famous and given a pass, or did he have to pay someone extra?

    This is a wonderful project by D & D and the SAM.

  4. I had to pay someone exedra.