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Chandelier That Fell in MO Senate Being Repaired

This is how the chandelier is supposed to look in the Missouri Senate.
This is how the chandelier is supposed to look in the Missouri Senate.

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Workers in St. Louis have started repairing the chandelier that fell to the floor of the Missouri Senate last week. It fell while workesr were replacing light bulbs.

The fixture is now disassembled and strewn about the St. Louis Antique Lighting Company near the Delmar Loop. The main part of the chandelier is a metal basket that holds an urn of frosted glass which covers up the main lights. The glass shattered and owner Gary Behm says the metal came in looking like a pretzel.

"We'll be hand-bending all of the castings into their original shape and we'll be able to bend those, we think, most of them back without breaking," Behm said Thursday. "Some will break and those will have to be welded and then reformed again. And if we do our job right, you won't be able to tell them apart."

The repairs should cost between $10,000 - 15,000 and with the fixture back in the Senate in about two months.

Behm adds the fact that the fixture is more than 80 years old in some ways helps.

"The lovely thing about how they used to make these fixtures is they weren't welded and they were virtually identical to each other. And they were machine screwed together so that you don't have to make a giant welding jig to put all this back. You can just basically screw it back together."

Behm says matching the metal's finish will be harder, and a lot of glass needs to be replaced.

(Click on an image below for a larger view.)