Beaumont, TX; Feb. 8, 2023 – During Week Two of the McFaddin-Ward House electrical upgrade, protection of the house and collection continued, and electrical work on the third floor’s light fixtures began.
After wrapping up protection of the third floor, the team from Oak Grove Restoration Company began removal of the light fixtures and work to expose their electrical connections in the ceiling. Extra care was needed for the large, three-armed lamp hanging above the billiards table, and a special crate was constructed that will allow the lamp to sit suspended to prevent weight from bearing down on its more delicate parts during shipping.
Over the week, all light fixtures on the third floor were removed, safely bubble-wrapped, and boxed up to await pickup by Crenshaw Lighting, whose team will transport them to Virginia for rewiring and refurbishment. Prior to removal, Oak Grove created a detailed documenting system to tag and track each of the house’s light fixtures to ensure they are accounted for during the course of the project.
Electricians from Newtron Electrical Services began the week by assessing the house to find access points for the various light fixtures, and then mounted a new electrical panel in the third floor mechanical room and started looping the lights together to form a branch circuit. Working between the attic and third floor, the electricians fed wire down through holes cut into the existing wood by Oak Grove. At each light fixture, electricians must remove the wire nuts, pull the old knob and tube out, and replace it with new metal clad electrical wire. By the end of the week, 16 lights on the third floor had been rewired.
Additionally, the curatorial team continued their work of carefully packing up the artifacts on display throughout the house and transporting them to the Collections Building for safe keeping.
“These are very delicate pieces, and we want to make sure that they are safe and that they are secure so we decided to take them back to the Collections Building where we can condition report them and put them on the shelves for the time being until they can go back into the house,” explained McFaddin-Ward House Curator Victoria Tamez.