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West Point MacArthur Short Barracks Lighting Restoration Begins

Grand Light is restoring 11 exterior lighting fixtures which are original to the West Point MacArthur Short Barracks. MacArthur Short Barracks is a multi-story building including the basement and six stories above ground to the highest enclosed space. Originally constructed in 1961, the building is approximately 140,000 square feet and houses 400 Cadets from the Third and Fourth Regiments and is named after General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.

Upon receiving these fixtures at a Grand Light facility, each lantern was thoroughly inspected and evaluated based on the quality of the finish and structure. It was assessed that the lanterns had experienced severe damage which had compromised the integrity of the fixture and caused major mechanical defects in the the frames. These mechanical defects include damaged decorative lens holders on the bottom of the lanterns, rusted screws that were improperly used as tabs for holding lenses, missing hardware, and damaged or missing frame components and sections. All structural damage to these fixtures will be corrected while all missing and broken components will be replicated to maintain the historical accuracy of these fixtures. In addition to structural damage, the finish of the lanterns’ tops had failed due to an excess of Verde green patina in combination with bird excrement staining, requiring repatination of the top components to match all other existing lantern components. Once the finish is blended and consistent, a UV resistant lacquer top coat will be applied to these fixtures.

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Shown above are the historic West Point lanterns after arriving at a Grand Light facility. Each lantern is thoroughly inspected and documented in a damage report to be submitted to the client for review. This damage report included all mechanical defects and finish failures that required correction to fully restore these lanterns.

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Shown above are two very different examples of finish failure found on the majority of the lantern top components. One type of finish failure involved an excess of Verde green patina while the other type of failure is attributed to the accumulation of bird excrement staining. To correct the finish on these top components, Grand Light artisans will remove the existing patina by blasting the surface with a combination of various medias before repatination to match all other components.

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Shown above are examples of damaged decorative lens holders located at the bottom of the each lantern. The majority of these lens holders were in different stages of disrepair and require extensive reconstruction, and in some instances the fabrication and installation of a new replicated component. All repaired or replicated decorative lens holders will be finished to match other existing components. Furthermore any missing hardware for attaching dislodged bottom lens holders to the lantern frame will be replaced. Grand Light artisans will also remove rusted screws that were improperly used as tabs for holding lenses. These new custom tabs will be soldered to the interior of frame to hold the lens.

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Most lanterns have severe mechanical defects that have undermined the fixtures structural integrity resulting in crooked frame alignment, dislodged back-plates, tears in the cage, and missing frame sections. To correct these defects, Grand Light artisans will add additional bracing and copper patches to the existing surface, infill with solder, and grind excess solder smooth. Each repaired component will be refinished to match all other existing lantern components.

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 West Point – MacArthur Short Barracks.

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