COMPLETED PROJECT: USC Bridge Hall Lightwell Rails and Grilles

Historic restoration projects aren’t always glamorous, sometimes they’re necessary for public safety.  We recently completed restoration and repair of the lightwell handrails and grilles at Bridge Hall at the University of Southern California.

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Bridge Hall after completion in 1928, photo from the LA Public Library archives

Bridge Hall was designed by prolific LA architects John & Donald Parkinson and completed in 1928.  For 86 years old, its looking pretty good today…except for the railings that surround the lightwells.

While original, the handrails and grilles surrounding the lightwells were severely corroded, and the concrete curbs literally falling apart.

We were called in to fix the problem.  We ended up stripping away years of lead paint from the rails, removing all of the salvageable parts, demo-ing back and repouring the heavily damaged curbs, repairing and re-installing the rails with a new rust-resistant paint job, and powder-coating the grilles.  Hopefully they all last another 86 years!

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USC Time Capsule

USC celebrated 100 years of student health last year with the opening of the new Engemann Student Health Center in 2013.  Yesterday, our work helped officially commemorate the milestone!

When the previous student health center building (built in 1950) was demolished, the cornerstone was kept as a momento.  However, staff noticed something unusual about the large chunk of limestone: it protected a forgotten time capsule!

Read more about the discovery of the forgotten time capsule here.

KC Restoration built a custom base to match the new building design, cleaned and repaired the original cornerstone, etched new lettering, and set it in place just in time for the ceremony. (which made the front page of USC Daily Trojan today)

#TBT RMS Queen Mary

It took about 4 years to build the Queen Mary which sailed the North Atlantic from 1936-1967.  Its now permanently docked in Long Beach as a hotel and fantastic place to have a party.  This impressive art deco ship is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

We’ve worked at the Queen Mary off and on for several years.  This month we’ll be back and forth to venerable ship completing restoration on a couple of the murals, including the “Royal Jubilee Week” in the Observation Deck Bar as well as “Dressed Overall at the Quay” and “The Sea.”

Check back for more pictures!

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photos from http://www.ssmaritime.com/

#TBT Siqueiros Mural Protective Shelter

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#TBT Siqueiros Mural Protective Shelter

In 2010 we cataloged and dismantled (and eventually reinstalled) the interior and storefront of the historic Gibbs Building (part of the Los Angeles Plaza Historic District, also known as El Pueblo de Los Ángeles State Historic Park) to accommodate the structural work for the Siqueiros mural protective shelter.

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#TBT Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre

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photo by Scott Miner

Built by Sid Grauman and Charles Toberman, and designed by Meyer & Holler in the “Egyptian Revival style”, the Egyptian Theatre opened to much acclaim in 1922 as the venue of the first ever Hollywood Premiere (Robin Hood). The theater declined in the 1980s and was eventually sold by the City of LA to American Cinemateque in 1996.

When the American Cinemateque restored the historic Egyptian Theater in 1998 its famous exterior courtyard was also part of the plan. Our participation included the restoration of three original lamps (with any missing pieces recreated) and the complete fabrication of three additional fixtures. Rewiring was completed and new lenses were installed.

Can you tell which is old and which is new?

#TBT Angel’s Flight

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#TBT Angel's Flight

Angel’s Flight circa 1903

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Angel’s Flight in 2008

Back in 1996 KC Restoration was contracted to document and catalog every piece of Angel’s Flight (down to the individual screws) so it could be properly reconstructed. This tiny funicular was first operated in 1901 and originally linked Hill St and Olive Ave. It was removed in 1969 as the site was “redeveloped” during along with much of the rest of old Bunker Hill. It was reconstructed nearby in 1996, connecting Hill St and the California Plaza, and has been in operation off and on since then. Unfortunately it is currently closed for repairs and inspections.
Angel’s Flight is on the National register of Historic Places and is LA Historic Cultural Monument #4.  You can follow the Angel’s Flight cars – Olivet and Sinai – as they “chat” with each other on twitter, and occasionally offer updates and news around DTLA.

All images from wikimedia commons