Commercial Lighting Restoration Study: Ancaster Town Hall
Ancaster Old Town Hall is a landmark historic building located on Wilson Ave East in the heart of Ancaster. Managed by the City of Hamilton, the 1870s edifice is a popular, versatile venue that hosts weddings, celebrations and community events. The objective was to restore the existing chandeliers, compliment them with custom designed lighting made by us, retrofit the lighting for LEDs and make it bright!
First we had to conduct a site visit to examine the existing lights and make recommendations for new lighting in surrounding areas. The 2 chandeliers dated from 1910 and have presided over the community for over 100 years.
Hanging 15' up in the air, detailed photos were taken and analyzed for restoration. We used our experience to determine the construction of the lights, the condition of the finish and prospective ways to increase light output through the discreet use of LED lighting. Lumen requirements for LED's were measured by calculating the total square footage which gave us parameters on which bulbs to choose.
Behind the Victorian arch on the main stage, there were 4 book matched locations for lighting. 2 of the locations were ideal for smaller chandeliers to provide general lighting for intimate events. The other 2 acted as spotlights meant to be used for plays concerts and presentations. Butting up against original plaster crown molding, the spot lights would be a fun challenge to design while the other 2 chandeliers had to be complimentary to to the main chandeliers. Everything was to be in made of solid brass for quality and finish.
Proposal and Quote
Once we complied and analyzed all of the information from the site visit, we condensed all of the information into core requirements. They were:
Environmental and energy requirements/savings
Quality, pride and budget
Multiple options were presented to the City detailing lumen requirements, restoration options and lighting fixture choices accompanied by photos and renderings. Because it's an expansive public space and the chandeliers are hard to access, LED lighting was recommended on all of the lights. They provided:
70% greater brightness
10x longer life from light bulbs (30,000 hours over 3000 hours)
90% energy savings
Labour savings (do not have to change bulbs as often)
Warm colour temperature quality from LED filament bulbs
The City of Hamilton choose one option that incorporated high intensity COB LED's discretely placed in the chandelier along with decorative LED bulbs on the perimeter. Complimentary bespoke lighting was chosen for over the stage including LED spot lights handmade out of brass and finished to match all of the other lights.
Pick up and temporary replacements
Given that the hall was in constant use during wedding season, we supplied period reproduction lighting from our Custom Collection. They were altered to suit the hall and illuminated with the same LED filament bulbs specified in the proposal. The original chandeliers were cataloged and brought to the shop to visit the restoration doctor.
Restoration and Manufacture
Restoring lights is full of surprises. These were no different. Garland, garland.......lots of garland. It was Christmas in July with ancient remnants of decorations past.
Disassembling was straightforward and there were no areas of concern with dents, damages, breaks or splits. Where required, we do all necessary repairs including soldering, brazing and small sand casting to replace parts. High quality in their day, these chandeliers were commercial grade and wonderful to work on.
Our master finisher handled the 36” spinning's on the high speed polishing wheels where 35 years of experience was put to the test. The result was an incredible antique brass finish replicating a period finish from the era the lights were made.
Insetting the LED's was a little more challenging as we had to discreetly hide the lights, hardware, and driver in the core of the chandelier. Attention to detail, balance and functionality were key. The end result was utilizing the existing structure to mount the LEDs and accompanying heat sinks.
Custom spotlights were created from the drawings in the proposal. They were to match the finishes of the chandeliers, use high powered PAR 30 LED bulbs, be adjustable and fit in a confined space.
For over the stage, our Custom 5 Light Wakefield was an ideal match for the 2 chandeliers and spot lights. Handcrafted out of brass, everything was of the same finish and quality.
Delivery and Installation
Taking something down is easier than putting it up.
We like to make things easy to put up.
Instead of being 1 unit, the chandeliers were separated so they could be installed in 2 pieces. Easier for electricians to handle and less room for error or damage.
When installed and illuminated, they were pure magic. The center light LED's illuminated the room and having the 2 sets on separate switches meant the light levels could be adjusted to suit any mood.
Large scale restoration projects are a detailed process but so very rewarding. The City of Hamilton was ecstatic with the restoration, placement of LEDs and functionality of the lights. From start to finish we worked with the City to update them on the status, coordinate with the electricians and deliver on time and budget.
The end result was nothing short of awesome. We do a lot of retail client rewires and restorations but it's challenging commercial lighting projects like this that we love. Thank you Carolyn Samko and everyone at the City of Hamilton for giving us the opportunity to be apart of the history of Ancaster Old Town Hall!