Grand Light’s restoration team travel to Orford, New Hampshire to install the antique Gothic style chandelier that had spent the past several weeks in the New Haven, Connecticut workshop undergoing a complete restoration.
Orford, N.H., July 30th, 2008 — In late 2007 the ceiling of the Orford Congregational Church collapsed, and the chandelier that once hung in the main meeting house fell to the ground. To the amazement of the inspection crew, found entombed in the bell tower was a 67″ Gothic style chandelier. This find led the Reverend Wilson and restoration search committee chairman Carl Schmidt to Grand Light.
Grand Light’s restoration team began work on the chandelier by conduction research- ensuring that the chandelier would be historically accurate when restored. The team discovered that the chandelier was an original gas reflector, created circa 1854 – 1870, and then went on the prepare conceptual sketches of how the chandelier would look upon completion.
Steve Stockman, the owner of Grand Light was excited by the project. “It was a pleasure to work on a fixture with such a rich history behind it, but this also presented many challenges.”
For Grand Light, this project would utilize many of their services. In addition to the conceptual sketched produced in-house, the dodecagonal reflector chandelier would need some customization. Stockman explained, “The chandelier was originally designed to be used with gas or oil, not electricity. We created a design that allowed the fixture to produce the same lighting effect the original did, and still maintain modern day UL safety standards. With some research and planning, we were able to do this successfully.”
Grand Light also replaced the damaged reflector mirrors with German imported corrugated mirror glass panels in the same style, indeed, with the same patent as the original panels which were created circa 1860. The decorative crowning was a custom made reproduction, and the frame was reinforced and restored. “It’s a top priority in the restoration of any historical fixture that our work be backed by research that support our choices in design,” Stockman said, “In the case of this chandelier, the crowning and glass panels we replaced are as close to the original as possible, and are historically accurate.”
While cleaning the oxidation off of the frame, the restoration team made an interesting discovery. Beneath the green overcoat there was a four color polychrome stencil pattern that had been painted over years before. Although the stenciling was an interesting find, after conferring with the Church, the restoration team continued as intended with a solid black finish for the frame, bronze crowning and antique brass accents.
Once the restoration was competed, the chandelier was packed and crated to New Hampshire, where the Church’s restoration committee eagerly awaited its arrival. With Steve Stockman, his son Ryan, who is a light restoration consultant for Grand Light, and members of the restoration team present, the chandelier was installed and wired as scheduled.
Reviewing their work, Ryan Stockman remarked, “This turned out to be a spectacular heirloom which will be cherished by the church and it’s members for many years to come. It was a pleasure working with the folks here in Orford. Honestly, it was a challenging restoration, but a real privilege because of the chandeliers’ historical importance, and it’s value to the church.”
Grand Light has restored, replicated and manufactured custom lighting fixtures at every scale, including various projects at Yale University, antique pieces from the Lincoln Square Theater in Decatur, Illinois, The Otesaga Resort & Hotel in Cooperstown, New York, the Shubert Theater in New Haven, Connecticut, and other prestigious projects nationwide.
About New Grand Light, LLC:
Grand Light, located at 580 Grand Avenue, New Haven, CT, has been serving the interior and exterior lighting needs of homeowners and professionals for over 70 years.
New Grand Light, LLC
800-922-1469, ext. 103