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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#TBT USC Physical Education Building

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USC PE Building in 1939.  Photo from Los Angeles Public Library

 

The Romanesque Revival style Physical Education Building at the University of Southern California was designed by John & Donald Parkinson and completed in 1930.  The building was also recently named an LA Historic Cultural Monument (along with 12 other buildings on the USC Campus) and is USC’s oldest on campus athletic center including an indoor olympic sized pool.

KC Restoration will be starting restoration of the original steel windows (which have been suffering due to the exposure to chlorine and other pool chemicals) in the pool soon!  

 

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The pool makes a cameo in this recent ESPN College Football commercial (at the 0:16 mark).

#TBT Grand Central Air Terminal

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Photo of a crowd gathered  as Air Marshall W.A. “Billy” Bishop speaks, 1941, from the City of Glendale

During WWII the Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale was “camouflaged” for safety.

We’ll be starting restoration of the historic steel windows in the next couple weeks.

#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?

COMPLETED PROJECT: Mayfield Senior School Copper Door Restoration

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Mayfield Senior School was originally founded in 1931 by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, and is a private, all female, college prep school in Pasadena, CA.  The house at the heart of the campus was built between 1914-1919 and was known as the Marshall-Eagle Estate.  The property was purchased for the Society of the Holy Child Jesus by Dr. Charles and Vera Strub in 1950.

We were contacted a few months ago to see if we could save a pair of original copper and glass doors.  The existing doors were pretty far gone: missing handles, missing trim, numerous holes and old patches in the copper cladding, deteriorated wood, mismatched hardware, etc.  However, they couldn’t merely be replaced, because installing new doors would mean the opening would have to be upgraded to meet the current building codes.  So instead, we took the doors back to our shop and got to work on the meticulous restoration:

  • repaired the deteriorated wood core
  • replaced the non-salvageable copper cladding
  • repaired existing trim and replaced missing trim
  • patina’d old and new copper to match
  • reproduced a missing handle
  • installed new slimline door closers

We’re pretty happy with the results, and the school is ecstatic that we could save their beautiful doors.