New Haven, CT – Whether a lighting restoration project involves minor repairs or recreating an entire fixtures that had been lost or destroyed, work on historic glass can often require the use of replacement material.
In the case of the lighting fixtures from Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Lodge, very few original panels remained, and even fewer were unbroken. Finding a suitable match for the historic glass wasn’t an easy task. After extensive research, four samples of glass determined to be similar to what was originally used in the 1920’s were sent to the client for approval. From these samples, it was determined that a medium amber colored, Wissmack type glass with a dew drop pattern would be the most suitable match to replace the many missing or damaged panels from the lodge’s lighting fixtures.
It was especially important to find an approximate match due to the historic significance of the Old Faithful Lodge, which is in one of the most heavily traveled and areas of Yellowstone National Park.
Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park is located opposite the more famous Old Faithful Inn, facing Old Faithful geyser. The Lodge, built in 1923, was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood and constructed in the National Park Service Rustic style. The lighting fixtures being restored were in the recreation hall of the lodge, which is known as “Geyser Hall”. The hall is used primarily by the staff of the park for recreation purposes, such as basketball games and other sports.
To protect the glass from shattering in the event they are ever hit by a ball or other item, each panel is being coated in a 3M SCLARL #150 safety film. A total of 1,080 panels are being cut for the smaller fixtures, which include 148 originals (Type A, A1 & C) and 28 replications (Type D). An additional 264 panels are being cut for the 40 larger (Type B) fixtures. The process of preparing the panels is demonstrated below.
The textured glass was initially fabricated as large sheets. These sheets were then carefully measured and cut to precisely fit the frame of the lighting fixtures. Once cut, light pressure was applied to separate the sheets into smaller panels.
To prevent the panels from shattering in the event of an accident, 3M SCLARL #150 safety film was applied to each panel individually by hand, ensuring a perfect application.
Once aligned with the panel, the film was pressed firmly against the glass with a squeegee and soapy water solution, eliminating any air pockets and allowing the film to adhere.
Excess film was then trimmed from the edges of the panel with a utility knife.
Heat was then evenly applied to the surface of the film, causing the film to shrink taut, and removing the excess wrinkles and soapy water solution.
A total of 1,344 glass panels have been fabricated and all structural repairs of the fixtures are now complete. Our next step in the restoration process will include the plastic bead blasting of the fixtures’ frames which will remove existing coatings of paint to achieve a smooth, uniform surface in preparation of powder coating. The frames will then be given a 15% gloss black powder coat before being wired with UL recognized components, HI-POT tested and reviewed for approval.
For more information about this project including additional photos, please view the project page.
About Grand Light:
Grand Light has restored, replicated and manufactured custom lighting fixtures at every scale, including various projects at Yale University, Minute Man National Historical Park, the Lincoln Square Theater in Decatur, IL, The Otesaga Resort and Hotel in Cooperstown, NY, The Shubert Theater in New Haven, CT., and other prestigious projects nation wide.
Located at 580 Grand Avenue, New Haven, CT, Grand Light has been serving the interior and exterior lighting needs of homeowners and professionals since 1929.