Link to Home Page

Restoration of the Old Naval Hospital

Update - November 17, 2006

The Lights are ON at the Old Naval Hospital

The last step of the final phase was to mount the new lights on their standards which was completed in October, and the electricity was connected and the lights turned on. They are on photocells so that they will turn on at night and off during the day. Although they are electric, these lights are true to their gaslight predecessors in style and materials.

The lights themselves were designed as typical for the time, since no photos of the originals exist that are clear and unambiguous. Aurora Lampworks of Brooklyn, NY (working with BELLArchitects) designed the light fixtures for the restored staircase. Their image of the original lamp is from the 1900 photo with the horse drawn carriage. The website of Aurora Lampworks shows the development of the design and the final light fixture.

These light fixtures are the capstone to the completion of the first phase of the restoration of the Old Naval Hospital. They complete the work on the portico, windows and stairs, and highlight the wondrous wood graining of the main doors done by Malcolm Robson, a fifth generation master wood grainer. As viewed through the as yet unrestored fence, the new light fixtures set the tone and seem to urge the continued restoration of the Old Naval Hospital. They are in harmony with the rest of the building.

The juxtaposition of the light fixture, the standard, the restored stairway and portico, give us a taste of what the Old Naval Hospital will look like when the full restoration is completed.

The main entrance is now complete, all that remains is to restore the original paintwork on the brick and to complete the roof molding (pediment) work. The balustrade on top of the portico was completely remanufactured, since it had long ago been lost. However, old photographs clearly showed the design and construction of that artifact.

The lights are on at the Old Naval Hospital! We look forward to the continued restoration of the historic icon on Capitol Hill.

This site is sponsored by the Friends of the Old Naval Hospital

Last updated November 13, 2008