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American Artisans At Work Preserving History

Syracuse Media Group: “Artisans Restore Hotel Syracuse’s 92-year-old Chandeliers”’s Rick Moriarty recently featured Grand Light in an article detailing the restoration of the historic lighting fixtures from the Marriott Syracuse Downtown restoration project. The article on the project can be found online by clicking here. For full details about the project including photos of the progress, please visit the our lighting restoration project page.

From the article:

Syracuse, N.Y. — A six-month project to restore the 92-year-old chandeliers of the historic Hotel Syracuse is coming to an end.

Workers from Grand Light, a lighting restoration company in Seymour, Conn., are bringing the chandeliers back to the hotel, now named Marriott Syracuse Downtown. They are scheduled to begin reinstalling them on Tuesday.

Altogether, artisans at Grand Light have restored eight chandeliers from the hotel’s lobby and five from the Grand Ballroom (three of which weigh over 700 pounds).

“They’re functional pieces of art that were created for the hotel,” said Ryan Stockman, vice president of Grand Light. “They’re historical. The craftsmanship is unbelievable.”

In addition to restoring the chandeliers, Grand Light has restored 16 wall sconces from the Grand Ballroom and has built 10 new (but old looking) chandeliers for the hotel’s Persian Terrace room.

The work is part of owner Ed Riley’s $70 million renovation of the 92-year-old hotel, which closed in 2004. Riley acquired the downtown Syracuse structure in 2014 and plans to reopen it as a full-service Marriott with 261 rooms and historically restored common areas this summer.

Workers removed the light fixtures from the hotel in September and shipped them to Grand Light’s facility in Connecticut. They then disassembled them, cleaned and repaired their iron, brass and plaster components, repainted them, and then reassembled them with all-new wiring and energy-efficient LED bulbs.

Stockman said 12 of the company’s 15 employees worked “full steam” on the project for the past six months.

“A project like this utilizes every skill set required for a museum-quality restoration — cleaning, metal fixing, hand painting, plaster repair, replication,” he said.

Workers performed much of the work by hand. However, Grand Light employed advanced technology for some of the job. For example, crystals from the chandeliers were placed in a tub filled with a cleaning solution, then hit with ultrasonic waves to reach the nooks and crannies that hand cleaning could not, Stockman said.

Grand Light is almost as old as the hotel’s chandeliers. Founded in 1929 as an electrical equipment distributor, it now specializes in restoring historic lighting fixtures and fabricating custom fixtures. Among its other recent projects, it was selected to restore crystal chandeliers at the U.S. Capitol.

Below is a video showing a Grand Light artisan cleaning part of a Hotel Syracuse chandelier using a cleaning solution and ultrasonic waves:

By Rick Moriarty |

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