DANSVILLE — They stood side by side in all of their magnificent glory at the place they loved the most in the world for many years.
That place along with those statutes are crumbling away, but there are some who will not allow this to happen.
Dansville Area Historical Society Member Aniko Constantine has found a skilled sculpture in Geneseo who has taken on the challenge of restoring Byrnece Macfadden’s statue, daughter of the famous Bernarr Macfadden from the Physical Culture Hotel (Castle on the Hill). The Bernarr Macfadden statue is also in need of repair.
Dan DeZarn of Geneseo is working slowly to restore the Byrnece Macfadden statue to its original glory.
“We are making it like it used to be when it stood in the Castle,” Constantine said. “We need to re-bronze both of them.”
Someone had a bunch of never-before-seen photos of Bernarr Macfadden in a tin can that they donated to the museum, so Constantine said they are working on those as well.
“He looks great in all of these photos. He was always around famous people to show off his brand,” she said. “We have to preserve them.”
Constantine said that DeZarn is working long and hard on the statue.
“We hope to reunite her with her father and display them both soon,” she said. “We want them both to look like they did when they stood in the Castle.”
Bernarr Macfadden was known for his athletic physique, and he was very proud of his daughter’s figure as well. At a young age Byrnece Macfadden posed nude for the statue to be made.
“Some people understand this is art,” Constantine said. “We think they were done by the same sculpture in the 1920s.”
The Byrnece Macfadden statue was at the Sylor’s shop for awhile.
“I saved it after Sue and Don Sylor kept it for many years after the castle was dismantled,” Constantine said. “When Sue sold the frame shop on main street she called to ask us what to do about the statue. We had to grab her so she wouldn’t be thrown out. We had her for about a year or so in our dining room; before finding a sculptor to work on her.”
The Dansville Area Historical Society needs help with donations to fix both statues. If anyone is interested in keeping these important pieces of the castle history alive you can reach out to the society.
Dansville Area Historical Society located at 14 Church Street can be reached at 585-335-8090. It is open the first and third Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.