Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Well, truthfully it hasn't been quite 2 years, but in November 2009 I took photos of the inside of the Princess before any restoration work began.  I wanted to document the project from beginning to end.

The old leaky roof was still in place and water poured in every time there was inclement weather.  Knowing this, made my heart ache whenever there was snow or rain for 9 months.  Everything below was wet, moldy, and rusting in place!  The new roof was constructed in August of 2010.

I shot this light fixture that day, and since there is no shiny new metal above it, I know the new roof was not yet in place.  Real restoration work didn't really begin until around July 2010 when the old seats were removed and hauled away.  They were in very sad shape; mold, rust, rot, and more rust was devouring them!

The new fixtures are going up, but they are not yet complete, because, if you look at the blog header (above) you can distinctly see that there is glass between the second and bottom tier, and also attached to the bottom of the last tier.

Against the new paint, being added by Tim Plemons, we can get a little glimpse of the finished product.  The restored 1939 fixtures hanging from a beautifully restored "art deco" painted ceiling will greet us at the grand opening.  It will bring to mind the days when the Princess still showed its true colors; from the ceiling to the floor.

Tim Plemons is following Frank Sparkman's architectural drawings in order to recreate the paint scheme as closely as possible.  All the colors, shapes, and measurements are recorded for him to follow.  Does that make it easy?  Think about it...he has to take a little rendition the draftsman created on paper, and make it span exactly on the huge Princess ceiling!  He does it all either crouching or laying on his back while doing it!

Tim taking a rare break.  It's rare to actually sit or stand doing this work.
Around the old fixture photo above, you can see a little of the original paint.  This was just one of the clues Sparkman had when he had to recreate the paint scheme and colors for the restoration.  Without this, and a couple of other clues, the work could have never matched the original intent of the original architect, Joe Holman, and Crescent management.

As my project work t-shirt says, "We're turning the lights on!"

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