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New Haven Courthouse Doors Replication Complete

Grand Light previously refinished the massive New Haven Courthouse Church Street and Elm Street doors. At some point, a set of the original doors had been lost when they were replaced by standard emergency push doors. In an effort to restore the original historic appearance of the courthouse, the original cast bronze doors would need to be replaced with replications that were finished to match all other doors and exterior lighting. Therefore two Church Street giant cast plate doors along with window trims were designed and fabricated to match the existing doors.  The cast bronze door replications are over 8 ft tall and estimated to weigh over 800 pounds each. Grand Light created a special recipe to replicate the original red rust hot patina used on the recently restored Church Street and Elm Street doors. The finishing of the replicated Church Street doors involved surface preparation by media blast of the cast bronze surface, the application of a base statuary bronze coat, multiple layers of red rust patina that was applied at temperatures of 180-200° F, and multiple applications of protective top coat lacquer. All detailing, including edges and rosettes, located on both replicated doors and window panels were meticulously hand burnished by Grand Light artisans to expose gold accents.


Shown above is a New Haven Courthouse Church Street door replication prior to being finished. Grand Light artisans would finish these doors through the use of a custom red rust hot patina formula to replicate the original doors red rust finish. Prior to finish application, the cast bronze surface of the doors had to be properly prepared.



Shown above is a media blast specialist garbed in protective attire to safely prepare the surface of the replicated doors for a base application of base statuary bronze patina. The surface of the doors were media blasted to create a consistent, uniformed surface while also removing any foreign or excess debre from the fabrication process.



Shown above is the application of the base statuary bronze patina to a replicated courthouse door and subsequent burnishing of the surface by Grand Light artisans.




Once the base statuary bronze patina was applied, Grand Light artisans hand burnished the entire surface in order to create a smooth and consistent finish. All edges and rosettes were carefully burnished to expose gold accents.


Shown above is a Church Street replicated door after an application of base statuary bronze patina and burnishing. Grand Light artisans hand burnished the entire surface in order to create a smooth and consistent finish. It was extremely important that the statuary bronze base patina was thoroughly burnished and surface prepped before the red rust hot patina was applied; any disparity in the base patina would show prominently in the red rust patina finish.



Shown above is a Grand Light artisan heating the surface of the bronze Elm Street doors. A torch is used to preheat the surface to 185˚-200˚F while the patina is sprayed on the door. Heating the doors are carefully temperature controlled and monitored to ensure that the red rust patina instantly drys on contact with the surface producing a consistent finish bereft of drips, marks, and stains.




Shown above is a door rosette through different stages of the finishing process including immediately after red rust patina application, burnishing of the rosette, and after lacquer application. You can see how the aesthetics change dramatically from start to finish leading to stunning results. Grand Light artisans burnished all rosettes and edges in this manner to emphasize the intricate detailing of the doors and window trims.


Shown above are the finished Church Street doors and window trim replications with custom red rust hot patina and lacquer. These doors and window trims will be wrapped for shipment prevent the risk of damage to both sides of all the doors and delivered to the New Haven Courthouse to be installed on-site. 

More information regarding this project can be viewed online by clicking the link for New Haven Courthouse Doors Replication.

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