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EverGreene Architectural Arts

EverGreene Architectural Arts

New York, NY | Oak Park, IL

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Gilding the Empire State Building Lobby Ceiling Mural in EverGreene's New York City Studio
Gilding the Empire State Building Lobby Ceiling Mural in EverGreene's New York City Studio
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Empire State Building

As part of the Empire State Building’s more than $550 million capital improvements program, a team of preservation architects from world-renowned Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP collaborated with EverGreene Architectural Arts' artists and conservators to conserve and replicate the original ceiling mural.

As a tribute to the opportunity and spirit of the Machine Age that made construction of the Empire State Building possible, the building’s main lobby originally featured a gilded art deco ceiling mural of a celestial sky with sunbursts and stars that reflect light with a warm glow, drawing the eye upward to the ceiling. The ceiling remained the focal point of the lobby until the 1960s, when it was painted over and covered with an acrylic-panel dropped ceiling, and florescent light fixtures were installed to modernize the building’s architectural aesthetic.

As part of the Empire State Building’s more than $550 million capital improvements program, a team of artists and historians from world-renowned Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP and EverGreene Architectural Arts, Inc., worked collaboratively to restore the original 1930s ceiling. EverGreene has worked on other major historic landmarks such as New York’s Grand Central Terminal, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, and Chicago’s Civic Opera House.

Guided by historic photographs, on-site forensic analysis, existing architectural elements and even decades-old dirt patterns, the restoration team employed an intensive, 26-step process to recreate the Art Deco mural using the same techniques as the original artists from Rambusch Studios. The installation is accented by the installation of state-of-the-art lighting to recreate the original lighting intensity of the lobby. The full replication, including research, design, execution and installation took approximately two years to complete at EverGreene’s New York studio and was finally installed at the Empire State Building in 2009.

“Over two years have gone into recreating the historic Empire State Building lobby ceiling, making it the focal point of the world-famous Empire State Building once again,” said Jeffrey Greene, President of EverGreene Architectural Arts, Inc. “This is truly one of the most exciting and significant projects EverGreene has been a part of.”
Fast Facts

 
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Status: Built
Location: New York, NY, US
Firm Role: Finishes Analysis, Conservation, Mural Replication, Installation
Additional Credits: Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners
Hunter Roberts Interiors
Joan Irving Glass Design
Jones Lang LaSalle
Rambusch Lighting
The Lighting Practice, LLP
Two Twelve Associates

 
EverGreene Craftsmen installing the mural into the new ceiling
EverGreene Craftsmen installing the mural into the new ceiling
Director of Murals, Bill Mensching, applying the finishing touches
Director of Murals, Bill Mensching, applying the finishing touches
The finished celestial sky ceiling mural
The finished celestial sky ceiling mural