Conservation Solutions, Inc: Art + Architecture + Artifacts

Gilded Copper PSSC Ship Weather Vane Conservation

Site
Public Safety Service Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A detailed copper weathervane of a fully rigged schooner has stood on a dome atop the Mutual Life Insurance Building where it continued to rotate with the winds since installed in the 1920s. As part of the renovation of the building and conversion into a police headquarters Conservation Solutions, Inc. (CSI) worked with the Gilders studio to restore the weathervane while they re-gilded it and the dome. 

The weathervane was hoisted off the building and transported to CSI’s studio for treatment. The surfaces were cleaned using water jetting followed by detailing with bronze brushes and abrasive pads. The damaged copper foretopsail was replicated and replaced in kind. Two rigging lines were replaced with copper cable while others were repaired with solder. The flag was repositioned to face the proper direction. The solder and repairs were then patinated to match the existing cupric green color and coated with lacquer. Gilders Studio then re-gilded the hull, sail and other elements before it was again hoisted and reinstalled atop the building.