Light Stanchions Photos


Kevin Gray

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Jan 20, 2009
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I have enjoyed browsing through the various threads on the Normandie's interiors, and am quite fascinated with the Lalique glass that was prominent in the public rooms. Several folks have posted nice overall shots of the rooms in which the large light stanchions were located, but I've never seen any up-close or detailed views of these fixtures. Does anyone have any that they'd be willing to share?

On a related note, I've seen from time to time references made to the Fontainbleu Hotel in Miami having some of these fixtures, but I've never seen photos of them there. Does anyone know if this is just a good story?

By the way, this is my first post- I've been a Titanic fan since I was little (definately pre-movie) but have grown into a real fan of the Normandie. Thanks to all for sharing your information. I've learned a lot, and anticipate learning even more!

kevin
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hello, Kevin: The Fontainbleau had, and may still have, the statue from the stairway that connected the smoking room and the grill room.

Fontainbleau, however, was designed in the 1950s to be intentionally 'over the top.' Morris Lapidus did NOT believe in Mies van der Rohe's "Less is More" theory. The Summit in NYC might have been his most garish work, but the Fontainbleau was definitely his most epic.

Here's what I am building towards: the excesses that spelled out "WOW! Miami Beach!" to tourists ca 1955, also spelled out "Eccch. Miami Beach." to those of the 1970s. I believe that the original intentionally tacky interior was 'cleaned up' several times over the decades. The statue may still be in the original building, which was preserved when the new hotel was built, or could well have been sold off during refurbishings during the 1970s or 1980s.

http://www.fontainebleau.com/gcm/nar/en-us/home/index.htm

Here is the diagram for the lighting fixture. As you can see, it was not freestanding, but was part of a circular couch/planter, with a light pole rising out of it. So, chances of survival are slim:

et_fixture.jpg


partly because this sort of ornamental Deco was already out of style in 1935 and VERY out of favor in the post-war years, and partly because the number of people with 20' high ceilings looking for a circular couch/planter with lighting fixture built in must have been slim.

et_fixture_2.jpg
 

Kevin Gray

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Jan 20, 2009
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Hi Jim! Thanks so much for the diagram and the photo. That really gives me a better idea of what they looked like. Really interesting to see that it was a planter as well. Makes you wonder about their thought process there. I can't imagine wanting to try to keep plants going there. Would have been much simpler to fare over that or just make it available for cut flowers. One question- were the clusters or tiers (for lack of a better term) made up of glass rods? I've seen other period fixtures (even one in my old high school) that were composed in that manner. I could see it being a fairly simple way to give that effect.

Thanks for the info on the Fontainebleau. It does kinda ooze 1950's yuck, doesn't it? Was the statute that was at the hotel sold to one of the cruise lines and put on board their ship? I think I've seen photos of one of the cruise ships, maybe a Carnival one, with a "Normandie" statue on board.

One more question, if you'll indulge me... do you have similar information/images for the lights in the ?Grand Salon? (is that where these were?) What might have happened to these? I've neveer seen photos of any of them, or even any pieces of them, in the present. I've posted a photo borrowed from one of several places to illustrate my question better.

ss_normandie_grande_salle_a_manger.jpg


Thanks so much!

kevin
 

Kevin Gray

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Jan 20, 2009
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Thanks, Joe. I knew that I had read that somewhere. I've spent the last week or so trying to get caught up on the group's previous posts, but they've all run together a little bit.

kevin
 

Joe Russo

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Apr 10, 2006
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Kevin it would be interesting to find out what from the dining room survives. Of course the light fixtures you are asking about, but also the hammered Lalique glass sculptures that were on the wall which were illuminated from behind.
The room must have been breathtaking when fully lit with such clean indirect lighting.

I still wonder wonder how hot the room got with all of those incandescent light bulbs. Like one mammoth EasyBake Oven. I would imagine that this would be the part of the ship that had air conditioning.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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If you check out the exhibit catalogue Seven Wonderful Days, from the Italian Line art and architecture show a few years ago, it appears that one of the relief panels from the dining room was on display as well. Although whether it was the full-sized one from the staircase, or a smaller model constructed by the artist, remains to be seen.

And the mural from the Banquet Room ceiling ~ I'm not sure if the mural itself is in the collection of an NYC museum, or the original artist's rendering, but I've seen good quality color photos.

A painting from one of the private dining rooms still exists.

>I still wonder wonder how hot the room got with all of those incandescent light bulbs.

Anecdotally yes. However, it was overcrowding in the narrow, sans aisle, room that caused CGT to remove a pair of the light "towers" and reposition the others.

>were the clusters or tiers (for lack of a better term) made up of glass rods?

I think that they were made of ribbed glass.

A portion of the bar from the Grill Room was for sale in an antiques shop on the Bowery back in the 1980s. It was listed in one of those cloying "10 Funky Things About the East Village" articles that appear in Sunday newspaper insert magazines.

The two murals from the port and starboard small lounges, forward of the main lounge, survive. I have color photos of them.

Various rugs and tapestries from the first class cabins have survived.

In fact...thinking about it....the theater is the one first class rooms from which I've never seen anything preserved.
 

Kevin Gray

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Jan 20, 2009
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Thanks for the thoughtful (and thorough!) response, Jim. I am still curious (and unfortunately persistant) about the Grand Salon lights. I would think that at least fragments of those would survive, as they look like they're made of clusters of glass/crystal.

On a related note, I did find the below bit in an old Ken Schultz catalog (2005 I think) of a bit of the glass from the big light stanchions. Jim, it seems to confirm your ribbed glass information.

normandie_light_stanchion_glass.jpg


kevin
 
W

William Pagliarulo

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Hello, My name is Bill Pagliarulo and Im also looking for a diagram of the Light Towers in the Grand Dining Room on the Normandie; it fascinates me how it was constructed and I would like to construct a crude replica for my own living room
 

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