Labor of Love: Hatcher Light Fixture Restoration

Welder Dale Turner rebuilt the fixtures using materials that honored the original lamps.

The Hatcher Library on Central Campus received a facelift last summer when its nearly 100-year-old light fixtures in front were updated.

The project began when F&O Utilities determined the fixtures were structurally and electrically unsafe. Rather than replace them with standard materials in a more modern style, Utilities Power and Lighting collaborated with Central Shops staff to rebuild them. The fixtures were 100 years old, original to the Hatcher Library that was constructed between 1916 & 1920. They had suffered a century of environment, weather and pest damage. Dale Turner, a welder with the F&O Metal Shop, conducted research to learn more about the original fixtures to more closely capture what the original architect created.

He not only rebuilt them using materials that honored the original lamps, but updated them to be structurally and electrically safe. Dave Lammers shares, “It was really [Dale’s] pet project and he brought it together. He gets all the thanks from us and the university to make it happen. The electrical portion was easy – Dale’s work was art, science and skill…a true craftsman.” And in addition to honoring the original intent, this was a project which drew out creativity in problem-solving. Each person involved worked to create the exact right solution to fit the needs of this project as they always do in an effort to Make Blue Go.

 

The fixtures were 100 years old and had suffered a century of environment, weather and pest damage.

One of the restored fixtures.