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Restoration of Pelham Memorial High School's Lobby

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The Pelham Preservation Society, in cooperation with the Pelham Board of Education, completed an ambitious project to restore the lobby of Pelham Memorial High School.  Designed by the firm of Tooker & Marsh, PMHS is considered one of the most significant Collegiate Gothic Style buildings in Westchester County.  The lobby had been painted in non-historic colors with unsympathetic lighting.  Pelham Preservation retained the services of EverGreen Architectural Arts, which conducted paint analysis of all surfaces of the lobby, examined the Art Deco WPA bas-relief and analyzed the memorial bronze plaques dedicated to the servicemen from Pelham who gave their lives in WWI and WWII.   From this analysis and the study of historic photographs, a paint and glazing scheme was assembled for the lobby.  In addition, Pelham Preservation Society volunteers studied historic photographs of the lobby and conducted site visits to similar Collegiate Gothic buildings from the period to understand the color and type of original floor tiles.  The PMHS restoration project was coordinated with other work  undertaken at PMHS by the Pelham School District and was completed as part of the final phase in the summer of 2010.

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PMHS First Floor Lobby

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A key part of the lobby restoration project involved restoring the stone and plaster work as close to the original Gothic look of the building as possible.  While stripping the stone to its original finish was cost prohibitive and impractical, the lobby was painted and the stone work and architectural elements glazed with a stain that makes the elements resemble stone.  Above are photos of the lobby before and during the glazing process.  More photos of this project

 

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WPA Relief After Restoration
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WPA Relief Before Restoration

The photo at left above (from an old PMHS yearbook) confirms recollections of  PMHS alums that the WPA bas relief (the edge of which is seen at the right of the photo) was not originally gold  in color (as shown on right), but was a more neutral color.  Pelham Preservation retained the services of EverGreene studio, which stripped the relief and restoreed and preserved this element of the PMHS lobby.  See the work on this architectural element.

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The Pelham Preservation Society raised funds to restore the bronze plaques dedicated to those from Pelham who gave their lives during World Wars I and II.  The plaques have been stripped of paint, polished to their original finish and preserved with a cystalline wax. 

The third floor skylight will be restored as part of this project and the school district restored a second skylight on the top floor landing that had been concealed.

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PMHS Third Floor Lobby