Project of the Month for May, 2006
York County Courthouse
This project involved the restoration of three 1900-era brass lanterns hanging over the entry to the courthouse, as part of a renovation of the building.
The fixtures are combination gas/electric and the gas burners, fittings and passages were still existing. However, the passages were not large enough to fit suitable, UL listed wire through so modifications were required. The specification call for the lanterns to be fitted with 26 watt PL-T lamps and the beveled, clear glass panels were to be replaced with white polycarbonate.
Removal of the gas hardware required us to re-work the interior, central support structure. As with all of our brass/bronze restorations, any interior iron piping was replaced with red brass pipe to reduce the chance of dissimilar metals corrosion later. The mounting had to be re-worked to accommodate the building renovation and replace the insufficient mounting method that existed. As a result of this work, the fixtures are more stable.
As with all lanterns of the day, this one was composed of many individual brass castings, some of which were brazed together. Every braze joint was inspected and several repaired, one of which was a structural safety issue. One missing spike was fabricated and attached.
The two coats of paint were removed (one black and one copper powder/lacquer) to reveal a very damaged statuary bronze finish. A new finish was applied and protected with a clear Sherwin-Williams Polane finish.
The finished lanterns were delivered to site in our truck, on the day they were to be installed to avoid chances of possible damage.