Project of the Month for December 2006/January, 2007

Drexel University Great Hall       

This project involved the reproduction of the original chandelier from period photographs.  One of the first problems to be solved was support for the chandelier.  The original supports were no longer existing, likely due to a mid-1950s grain elevator explosion nearby which shattered every window in the building, damaging the glass ceiling and likely facilitating removal of the chandelier.    

It was surmised from the photos that the original fixture was brass with an oxidized finish.  our original efforts were in this direction but limitations in the budget as well as structural limitations lead us toward aluminum with a painted finish.  Another issue was maintenance.  We suggested a motorized lowering device, which was mounted to the new structural steel which was added to the ceiling trusses.   Since the original estimated weight of the chandelier ranged from 600 to 900 lbs, the 1,000 lb. capacity winch was chosen.  The final weight was 410 lbs.


Magnified examination of the original photographs, some dating to 1893 yielded many details but some interpretation of elements was needed.  The project architect spent many hours overseeing details of the design.


We were present in an advisory capacity for assembly on-site.




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