The Architect of the Capitol worked closely with Crenshaw to create this custom fixture.
In 2012, Crenshaw undertook the careful process of replicating a historic chandelier for the U.S. Capitol. The City Beautiful-era bowl chandelier hung in the Strom Thurmond Room S-238 in the early part of the 20th century. Over time, it had been replaced and lost. Several low-resolution historic photographs were the only available images of the original fixture and served as the basis of the replication.
Photometric studies were made in addition to an evaluation of the maximum lamping feasible to retain the fixture’s original historic character and aesthetic lighting performance. Because the chandelier arms originally featured downward-facing open globes, the lamp source would be visible from below. The new design retains this style and uses energy-efficient LED screwbase replacement lamps for the globes.
An added downward globe is centered at the bottom of the bowl, with new trim detailing consistent with the original design. However, the majority of the new lamping consists of uplighting in the bowl. For this, four-pin compact fluorescent lamping was chosen to provide maximum ambient lighting and uplighting to highlight the beautiful, ornate ceiling. These were specified at 2700K with a minimum 80 CRI in keeping with most historic lighting plans. At 70 lumens per watt and 16,000 hours of lamp life, these provide excellent performance.
More than fifteen original cast elements were created and cast in brass. These were then carefully chased, assembled, and polished by our craftsmen and finished in an aged, polished finish. The Architect of the Capitol worked closely with Crenshaw on the creation of this custom fixture. This excellent partnership yielded an equally excellent finished product.