New Haven, CT – The restoration and replication of 216 Gothic-style pendant lighting fixtures from Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Lodge has been completed.
The fixtures, which include 188 historic originals and 28 replications, have been safely packed and crated for delivery back to the park where they will be installed in early April. The fixtures are expected to leave Grand Light’s shop early next week.
“It was an honor to do such an important project for one of our nation’s greatest treasures and to put these fixtures back into service for decades to come.” said Ryan Stockman, who is the General Manager at Grand Light and lead project manager for this project.
The project began in November of last year when Grand Light dispatched a two man team to the Old Faithful Lodge to inspect, document, pack and transport the fixtures back to their New Haven, Connecticut restoration facility. Upon arriving in New Haven, the historic fixtures underwent a lengthy restoration process which included the structural repair of the fixture’s frames, fabrication of missing tabs, and plastic bead blasting for removal of previous coatings of paint. The fixtures were given a 15% gloss-black powder coat finish and rewired and tested in accordance with UL standards.
In addition, amber colored glass panels were fabricated and hand-cut to fit within the fixture’s frames to replace historically inaccurate plastic panels. Each of the glass panels were coated with 3M safety film to prevent the glass from shattering in the event they are ever hit, and then installed into the restored frames of the fixtures.
As a final step in the restoration, each fixture underwent visual and mechanical inspections for historic accuracy and structural integrity. All fixtures were tested in accordance with UL standards, which include (4) separate tests: Strain Relief, Continuity, Hi-pot and Function.
In addition to the restoration of the 188 historic fixtures from the Lodge, 28 fixtures were replicated. Where applicable, historically accurate fabrication methods were utilized such in the replication of the cast aluminum top loops of the fixtures via the traditional art of sandcasting. The top bell piece was spun from a solid piece of metal, using a special die created specifically for the replication. Cages were then hand-fabricated and riveted together using the same techniques used when making the originals.
Over the course of the three month long restoration, the project was extensively photographed and documented on Grand Light’s website, http://www.grandlight.com. Specifics of the restoration and replication work that was carried out by Grand Light’s artisans can be found by reading the updates.
The historic fixtures and their replications will soon hang in the recreation hall of the Old Faithful Lodge, which is known to park employees as “Geyser Hall”.
The Lodge, built in 1923, is a part of the Old Faithful Historic District and located nearby the famous Old Faithful Inn. The facility offers tremendous views of the Old Faithful Geyser, and is a popular destination for tourists.
While in Grand Light’s shop the fixtures were treated as historic treasures and therefore packed for transit accordingly. Approximately 10 pallets with 4′ x 4′ x 5′ custom crates were constructed, and then lined with foam padding and extensive individual packaging. Safety tests were carried out to ensure the packing was more than adequate for the potential shock and vibrations that the fixtures might encounter while on the road.
One of Grand Light’s artisans carefully installs historically accurate wissmack glass panels, which were fabricated for this project.
Restored (Type A) Historic Fixture & Replication (Type A1) Side-By-Side.
Fully restored (Type B) fixture from the Old Faithful Lodge. Top-View.
Fully restored (Type B) fixture from Old Faithful Lodge. Bottom-View.
The final fixture is placed into the custom-built crates for shipment back to Yellowstone National Park.
For more information about this project including additional photos, please view the project page.
About Grand Light:
Grand Light, located in New Haven, CT since 1929, is an experienced restorer of historic lighting fixtures and a manufacturer of custom lighting fixtures. We have restored, replicated and manufactured custom lighting fixtures at every scale. Past projects include work for clients such as Yale University, Minute Man National Historical Park, the Shubert Theater, the New Haven Museum and the Otesaga Resort Hotel.