Paul Revere to ride again atop Revere Copper Products
ROME — “Listen, my children, and you shall hear, Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Or, perhaps, more appropriately for this article — the return of the midnight ride as longtime local manufacturer Revere Copper Products has announced it will soon begin the process of fixing up and relighting the historic Paul Revere sign atop its east Rome plant, company officials said in a letter to the community on Friday.
The iconic visage of the historic American on horseback has been dark nearly 20 years.
The goal is to relight the sign— which pays homage to Revere who famously alerted fellow patriots with the news that British soldiers were about to march on the revolutionaries — by July 4, 2024.
“We are pleased to announce that we are in position to pursue the lighting of our historic sign,” wrote Mike O’Shaughnessy, chairman, president and CEO of Revere Copper Products.
“We know this project is not just near and dear to Revere employees, but to the Rome community at large. We are thankful for all the encouraging words of support through the years, and we look forward to continued support from our fellow Romans.”
According to O’Shaughnessy, the company has been on an upswing since 2016, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when demand for copper products skyrocketed. He said the company’s products are in “high demand” at data centers and in power distribution, with copper a necessary product for electric vehicles and upgrades to the power grid.
The success allowed Revere to invest in new equipment in their cast shop, and open a new plant — Revere South — in Mebane, North Carolina. O’Shaughnessy also said they were finally able to give their employees several raises over the past year, and over $2 million in monthly performance bonuses. He said Revere shipped 115 million pounds of copper out of Rome in 2022.
“During the years since 2007, whether I was eating a burger at DeMatteo’s or sipping a beer at Copper City, I was asked one question on a weekly basis,” O’Shaughnessy recalled.
“It was heartbreaking to answer that question, but I guess it would have been worse if people stopped asking.”
To start the process, O’Shaughnessy said Revere will create a not-for-profit organization to manage and maintain the lighting of the sign. He said they plan to modernize the technology involved, while maintaining the classic appearance. He said they will need to look into the infrastructure of the sign, of the building upon which it rests, the ease of maintenance, and trees in the area that have grown to block visibility.
“The investment to do all this and handle on-going costs is significant,” O’Shaughnessy said, noting that they will also look into any available grants to help with the cost.
Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo called the Paul Revere sign “iconic for our city” and said her administration is “completely” in favor of relighting the sign.
“I think it’s a tremendous boost for Rome. I commend the O’Shaughnessys for wanting to do this for the community,” Izzo stated.
“Everyone is very excited by it, and we’re so happy to participate.”
Izzo said she has been in discussion with the leadership of Revere Copper for several months about the possibility and what the city can do to help. One issue they considered was an open lot at the corner of East Dominick and Nock streets, and the possibility of turning the space into a park instead of any new construction so as to not block the sign. Izzo said no concrete plans have been made so far.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here