Gilt Bronze Historic Metalwork Conservation for Library

Gilt Bronze Historic Metalwork Conservation for Library
Lowell
Massachusetts

The Lowell Federal Building, formerly a Post Office, was being renovated for the Middlesex Community College campus library.  The arcade, which had served as the customer service counter,  was enclosed with heavy bronze sash and panels.  Over the years, the centers of several of these sash had been cut out for ventilation.  We were asked to recreate these missing sashes.  Replicating the bronze didn't make sense, unless we were ordering hundreds of feet. Since much of it was custom curved, that was impossible.  Our solution was to replace the glass with a solid piece and then to replicate the missing muntons using flexible plastics.  After the muntons were formed, we faux finished them to look like the bronze.  The remaining metalwork was then cleaned and patinated.

The second part of the Lowell historic metalwork conservation project, involved the restoration of the bronze balustrade that connected the first and second floor.  During the renovation, a portion of this unique custom work was stolen from the building and sold for scrap.  While a portion of the missing sections were returned, it had been chopped into many pieces.  We took on this seemingly impossible task of restoring this important part of the building lobby. 

Partnering with several bronze foundry and restoration firms, we were able to restore the broken pieces and fabricate the missing sections.  Once all sections were complete, we then patinated them to match the existing sections, which were then brought to the site and installed, completing the project.

Click on images below to enlarge.