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West Point MacArthur Short Barracks Lighting Restoration Complete

The United States Military Academy (West Point) is located approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of New York City on the western bank of the Hudson River in West Point, New York. West Point and grounds were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960 due to the Revolutionary War history and the age and historic significance of the Academy itself. This project consisted of the of renovation and restoration of the existing MacArthur Short Barracks. MacArthur Short Barracks is a multi-story building including basement and six stories above ground to 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- a West Point graduate in 1903, former Superintendent of the US Military Academy (1919-22), General of the Army during World War II, and a recipient of the US Medal of Honor.

The restoration of eleven historic exterior lanterns has been completed. All structural damage to these fixtures was corrected while all missing, damaged, and broken components were replicated to maintain the historical accuracy of these fixtures. In addition to the mechanical repairs and component replacement, it was determined that the lanterns finish had failed due to an excess of Verde green patina in combination with bird excrement staining, requiring repatination of the components to achieve a consistent and blended finish. After repatination, a UV resistant lacquer top coat was applied to each lantern. Custom curved glass panels were were cut and bent to match missing or damaged original glass panels. All wiring was replaced with UL listed components and HIPOT tested in accordance with UL standard 1598.

 

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The historic fixtures were received by Grand Light in very poor finish and structural condition. Components that were damaged or missing such as the lens holder shown above required custom historically accurate replications be fabricated.

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Based on existing components and precise measurements for fitting, a matching lens holder is fabricated from raw material. Grand Light artisans replicated decorative elements by tracing an existing lens holder on the raw metal and precisely cutting to match. All parts are then assembled by welding before finish is applied to match existing components.

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Grand Light technicians utilized a wide range of metal repair processes, including the welding of patches and structural braces to correct numerous mechanical defects including frame and bracket tears, missing sections in the frame, and bent frame alignment. All repair were then finished and blended to match existing components.

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Grand Light media blast specialists first removed excess Verde green patina from lantern components in preparation for the repatination. A custom patina was then hand applied and blended to the existing finish before each component received multiple applications of protective UV resistant lacquer.

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Custom glass panels were cut to match and replace historic damaged or missing glass. These custom panels were then heated using a kiln for increased viscosity to allow artisans to contour each custom panel using an original glass panel as a template.

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All electrical components and wiring were replaced with UL listed components and HIPOT tested in accordance with UL standard 1598. The restored lanterns were then carefully packed and transported back to West Point for installation.

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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