Long Hard Winter?

More like a short weird one. We only got one or two decent days of snow, an earthquake and lots of wind. It was a perfect time to stay home doing small projects like adding bling in places that have never had bling before.

As our neighbors already know, Adele’s restaurant in Carson City had a kitchen fire which rendered the building too expensive the repair. It was sad that this Nevada landmark came to an end in such a way but the memories will still last. There was an auction in which supplies, furniture and fixtures were sold off. J’s Old Town Bistro across the street from the Union got the Adele’s bar sign.

Katie and I were fortunate enough to bring home furniture, light fixtures and a lifetime supply of drinking straws.

This fixture was in the Adele’s hallway to the restrooms and I suspect it was recycled from a casino of years past. Adele’s was full of repurposed antiques so my theory is plausible.

This fixture was from the Adele’s foyer and now graces our upstairs bath.

What was nice was that the Adele’s light fixtures were in good enough shape that they did not require rebuilding. We have other fixtures that I’ve kit bashed from the stock pile of parts that I keep in the basement.

This is the beginning of two gas and electric combination wall sconces. The one on the right shows what the original parts look like with years of dirt and mismatched colors. The one on the left has been wire brushed and is reading for toning.

Brass toner is a special mix of muriatic acid and probably some other stuff I don’t really want to know about. In any case, when the parts are swirled around in a small tub, it darkens the brass pretty evenly so my lamp parts will look like they actually belong together.

The color match is not perfect but it’s pretty good. It will also improve with age. Since I don’t wax or lacquer my lamps, they will continue to improve on their nice brown patina. Oh, and the gas part is now defunct even though the fixtures still have their decorative glass candles.

The next lamp was a much easier restoration.

This one came all in one piece and it was pretty easy to convert it from kerosene to electric. I found a socket that nested well in the center of the old burner and I used thermostat wire which is small enough to render it almost invisible while still being able to supply 1200 watts to the bulb. The wire was also solid core which meant I could sculpt it to the contours of the lamp and it would retain its shape thus allowing me to hide the wire in the curvy brackets without drilling any holes in the lamp.

Of course, once these new lights were installed, they were well tested by the 5.0 earthquake in Indian Hills south of Carson City. The lamps did okay, but an antique seltzer bottle leapt off a shelf and dive bombed an old gallon pickle jar below. The pickle jar lost.

Pickle jars aside, I thought I’d finish this with a few before and after pictures.

It’s still a work in progress but that’s the fun of it. We will be adding to and polishing up the place for years to come.

Author: Glenn

I'm a 5' 8" tall ape descendant with an interior design degree and a love for antiques and vintage architecture. I recently escaped from the IT world to follow my dreams and a beautiful damsel who shares my love of old buildings no matter how much dust is involved.

4 thoughts on “Long Hard Winter?”

  1. Your place is coming along beautifully!! Miss seeing your smiling faces.. good job on the lamps and lights from Adele’s.

  2. Really coming along! Appreciate the updates – great diversion for this time of hunkering 🙂 Stay safe and well!


    1. I’d do more but I’m limiting my trips to the lumber store. In the meantime, going back through old posts is a fun way of passing the time. It’s also time to reflect on how nuts we were to start the project in the first place. :^)

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