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A green grand staircase

Discussion in 'Passengers Passenger Areas and Accommodations' started by Tarn Stephanos, May 8, 2002.

  1. If im not misatken, I read somehwere that the grand staircase on Olympic was painted GREEN nearing the end of her career. Are there any known photos of this color scheme? It must have looked dreadful....


    tarn Stephanos
  2. Brian Hawley

    Brian Hawley Guest

    Tarn, I don't know of any photos of the staircase where you can tell the walls are green. The fantastic photo of the stairs that Stuart put up today shows the clock clearly painted cream like it is now in Southampton. Sadly I cannot tell from the image if the walls are painted green or not. Long ago I spoke to Paul Louden Brown about his collection of woodwork from the staircase. One of the items he described was a capital from a support pillar. It has peeling avocado green paint and gold leafing. I always thought that the green was highlighted by gold leafing which would have been applied to the carving after the green paint. Yet the description Paul gave said that the green paint peeled to reveal the gold leaf. This conversation was in 1995 and I am still slightly confounded by it.

    PS can I get in touch with you back channel Tarn? I need to ask you about a possible book deal.

  3. Stuart Kelly

    Stuart Kelly Member

    Are you still in contact with Paul Louden-Brown, Brian? I have sent him emails from the address on the THS website over the last two years or so but he has replied to none of them.

    I wouldn't say the photo in the newspaper cutting shows the GSC painted cream. It may just be my use of the contrast function in Paint shop Pro! It looks like a natural wood colour to me. Which makes me ponder again the question of there being any photos of the Olympic in Colour?
  4. I doubt there were any photos of the Olympic in colour, but black and white photos of the painted staircase really don't look that much different at all!

    If you have Titanic Voices, look on pg.21. That photo of the D deck grand staircase landing is actually of the painted staircase, but you can't tell that from the b&w photo. This is the only painted staircase photo known to me.

  5. Here's the picture that I think shows the painted staircase. I'm not sure when it was taken, but if this is the painted staircase it has to be post 1933. You really can't tell its painted though:

  6. Were the bannisters painted green as well, or was it only the paneling on the wall?

    What an odd choice of color!


    Tarn Stephanos
  7. Joshua Gulch

    Joshua Gulch Member

    Additionally, were the connecting passages also painted green to match the staircase?

  8. Nigel Bryant

    Nigel Bryant Member

    What is that object on the right of the photograph?

    All the best,

  9. Beats me, it seems to be reflecting the chairs, so it was either mirrored, or glass. Perhaps it was something installed after 1933. Perhaps some stall, or a glass case to display something. Perhaps it's there only temporarily. I really have no idea though.

  10. Robert Bass

    Robert Bass Guest

    Looks to be some kind of display case, but this is just a guess. When were the (brass?) handrails added to the bannisters?


  11. They might have been added as early as the 1913 refit, but they were definitely there after the 1920 refit.

  12. That object to the right, looks to me to appear to be some kind of a phone booth(?). Now why in the heck would there need to be a pb aboard Olympic!?

    Also, why would anyone on their right minds want to paint her Grand Staircase green, for heaven's sake!?! crazy.gif Especially the staircase is much more beautiful looking naturally in its natural wood look. angry.gif

  13. Lee Gilliland

    Lee Gilliland Member

    Oh come on you guys, can't you tell a Tardis when you see one? ;-)
  14. Good point Lee, its seems to me if there was any place in history the Doctor would have visited, it would have been Titanic! (and had it been the 2nd regeneration, Patrick Troughton Dr. rest assured he bumbed into Hitchens and CAUSED the collison)

    Tarn Stephanos
  15. I suppose my only real question here is did they use green paint, green varnish, or did they just stain the wood green? Either way it's too much of the whole 20's exotica theme I see in liners of the time. Should've just left the poor old lady alone.
  16. Here's my attempt to recreate the horrid mistake. 66384.jpg
  17. Ehhhhhh...yuk! lame.gif
  18. Brian Hawley

    Brian Hawley Guest

    David, about 2 months ago I was fortunate enough to see a color photograph of some Olympic staircase woodwork. The green paint was still on this bit of wood. The paint included some gold streaking in the mix. Overall it gave the impression of a pickled effect or a wash. The color was not a deep green. It’s my theory based on other photographs that the main wall of the stairs were white with the large panels outlined in green. Additionally the rails, columns, molding, and other bits were green. What I mean is I don't believe the entire staircase was painted institutional green. This last bit is just a theory so far I cannot prove it.

    Using Daniel's D deck photo from above you can see a bit of what I mean. It looks like the back wall is white with an outline around the panel.


  19. Thanks. I kinda figured I didn't have something right. BTW, did you know that the book Anatomy of the TITANIC, while slightly inaccurate, had the somewhat good misfortune of using the deck plans of the RMS OLYMPIC in the 20's in place of TITANIC's deck plans in some areas.
  20. One last thing, so were the handrails green as well, or was it just a green and white wall treatment?