Friday, February 3, 2012

Woodrow Wilson Light Fixture Restoration

I thought I'd give you guys a visual on the light fixtures for Woodrow Wilson, because they look amazzzing!  We are in the middle of all our restoration efforts and so now I happen to have the before and some of the after photos.  And, thanks to the story Rachel Stone form the Advocate put together for all the fabulous readers out there, we might be able to save the auditorium light fixtures too!  I am sooo extremely happy right now because it would be such a shame to replace the beautiful flight fixtures with off the shelf pieces.

So here's the scoop... We were asked to restore the light fixtures form Woodrow and JL Long; below is a photo of two of the many Woodrow light fixtures before our restoration efforts.  Some of the light fixtures just needed some TLC, some were missing pieces, some were warped, and a few were totally missing.
(click on the photos to enlarge)


Richard and I went over to inspect the light fixtures and thought they were just amazing!  So much potential behind what the time has done to the poor things which Richard's grandfather originally built in the 30s.  One of the lights that we got super excited about were the chandeliers hanging in the auditorium of JL Long.  The grand light fixtures were something else!  After all, it's not like you get to see a beautiful, large, Art Deco chandelier ever day.

Since there are quite a few of them in the auditorium, the overall visual is just spectacular.  Unfortunately, we found out shortly after that we most likely won't be restoring the fixtures, but instead they will be replaced with these:

I almost had a heart attack when I saw the piece of paper with the proposed light fixtures!  Not that there is anything wrong with them, but why put beautifully crafted, custom made piece of history in the trash and replace it with off the shelf fixtures wich are not nearly as impressive as what is there in the first place?  Both JL Long and Woodrow have great history behind them, and lots of really neat people who have fond memories of their school went there like Trammel Crow Sr.  Surely the lights can be saved...

Well, I'm happy to say that apparently the article caused quite a bit of stir and now something might be in the works to save the fixtures after all!!!

I certainly do hope so.  We are working as hard and as carefully as we can to restore these fixtures to their original glory and would like to thank all the other people involved in the restoration of Woodrow and JL Long, from the stone mason to the woodworker repairing the windows, so that future generations in the world of cookie cutter can enjoy the hard work, the beauty of real artistry, and historical significance of yesterday.  So, to give you an idea as to how spectacular all these lights will look like when the school is restored, here are a few shots of the in progress as well as finished light fixtures I promised:)

A bit of history about Woodrow from Wikipedia:
Designed by noted Dallas architect Mark Lemmon, the school opened in 1928 and was constructed in the Elizabethan style.[7] At the cornerstone-laying ceremony in April 1927, a piece of the wedding cake of Woodrow Wilson's second daughter, Jessie, was included in the cornerstone "in memory of Mr. Wilson."[8] At US$700,000, the school's cost exceeded that of the district's previous four high schools by at least $100,000.[9]

written by: Izabela Wojcik