Around The Factory

American Artisans At Work Preserving History

MIT Kresge Auditorium Lighting Restoration Complete

Constructed in 1955, Kresge Auditorium was dedicated to serve as the meeting house of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This elegant thin-shell structured building, designed by Eero Saarinen of TWA Flight Center fame, draws visitors from all around the world. Built side by side with the MIT Chapel, the Kresge Auditorium is home to formal events for both students and faculty. The Kresge Auditorium serves primarily as performance facilities for MIT Music and Theatre Arts productions, as well as a meeting space for many student organizations.

Grand Light restored sixty-seven historic exterior downlights. Each downlight was inspected and reviewed to measure the severity of finish deterioration and mechanical failure. The exterior finish was severely stained while the interior of each fixture had accumulated a significant amount of debris from birds nesting. It was determined that the most appropriate method of restoration would be to re-finish each fixture. The existing finish was removed by granite media blast in preparation for a black matte polyester powder coat finish.

In addition to finish deterioration, inspection of each downlight revealed significant metal rot on a large number of the fixtures. Additional metal work was required to repair and/or replace the corroded metal. All fixtures were wired with UL listed components, modified to incorporate modern LED technology, and HIPOT tested in accordance with UL standard 1598.



A damage inspection and subsequent report for each downlight revealed significant metal rot and damage on nineteen of the sixty-seven fixtures.



Each exterior downlight was cleaned and surface prepared by our media blast specialists to create a smooth, clean, and consistent surface in preparation for powder coat application.





All existing damaged and rotten sections were replaced with formed steel panels that were welded or braised into place before being ground weld smooth.


Each downlight received multiple coats of an extended life black matte polyester powder coat finish.



Grand Light technicians installed matching finish porcelain sockets and UL listed components in each downlight. Each lamp was modified to accommodate modern LED lighting technology. The downlights were HIPOT tested in accordance with UL standard 1598 prior to packing and delivery.



The exterior downlights after restoration was completed. These restored downlights will be installed to the exterior of the Kresge Auditorium to be admired by students, faculty, and visitors for many years to come.

Grand Light specializes in the restoration of historical luminaires of every scale, material, finish, and design. From professional diagrams and plans for your project to rewiring fixtures to UL standards, our specialists have proven their reputation as exceptional lighting restorers.

For more information regarding this project, you may review the project homepage at Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Kresge Auditorium.

Recent Projects:    arrow

Leave a Reply