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CASE STUDY

HISTORIC RESTORATION

We were contacted by a client in Philadelphia about historic balcony railings and terrace railings. The original wrought iron railings were approximately 100 years old and some were in a state of neglect. The original balconies had been originally mounted to the wood structure with two rows of brick laid in front, making the mountings totally inaccessible.

The team came up with an innovative way to remove and reattach. The original frames were cut approximately 6” from the brick and a 12” long tapered block created to fit inside the main balcony frames.

The plan was to remove one balcony railing, correct all the structural deuteriation, strip the multiple layers of old paint off, hot dip galvanize and powder-coat. The test balcony project was started, and went as far as the stripping and stopped. An original, authentic Samuel Yellin stamp was found! This stamp completely changed the value of this balcony. Had the client wanted to sell the balcony, it might have been worth $1,000 - $2,000. But with that original stamp, it could be worth $25,000. We have a client that paid $48,000 for a Samuel Yellin wrought iron table, and he was looking at a Samuel Yellin staircase railing that cost $150,000!

We completely reevaluated our approach. The valuable Samuel Yellin stamp would be obscured with the thick coating of hot dip galvanize. We utilized a slightly less encapsulating finish of E-coat. This did not diminish the authenticity of the Samuel Yellin Railing Stamp.

The test balcony railing was completed, reinstalled, and passed the criteria for rigidity and stability. Then the whole project was removed and taken through the process. There were additional iron leaves and scrolls that had to be completely recreated. It was also discovered that some of the original finials had been bronzed on top of the balcony railings. The bronze finials were recreated as well. Additional Samuel Yellin stamps were found. The project was long and tedious, but so worth it to restore a beautiful Samuel Yellin railing and a Samuel Yellin balcony railing project. We gave a Philadelphia railing project a new lease on life that can be appreciated for decades.