Bower-Barff Hardware Finish at the Davenport House

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
Post Reply
pharding
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: River Forest, Illinois
Contact:

Bower-Barff Hardware Finish at the Davenport House

Post by pharding »

The Davenport door and cabinet hardware is generally steel finished with a black oxidized proprietary process called the "Bower-Barff Process" or "Bower-Barff Finish". It has has the appearance of slightly textured, almost metallic looking, very dark deep, warm grey/almost black coloration with a matte finish. It is incredibly beautiful. The manufacturer claimed that this made steel and iron rustproof. It was not rustproof, but it was quite robust. This is another example of example of construction technology and finishes on the Davenport House that Mr. Wright took from his former employer, Louis Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan used this finish on ornamental iron on the stairways in the Auditorium Theater. FLW also used this finish on the lobby of the Rookery. This is also another example of FLW using cost effective materials, stamped steel rather than brass, in an elegant manner to great effect.



Other missing components that we have not been able locate in a national search with architectural salvage companies are cast iron borders around additional salvaged floor registers. We have identified a cost effective shop that will create cast iron replicas for us. Kitchen cabinet latches will be commercially available cast brass replicas of existing Davenport cabinet hardware. Unfortunately the knobs are different. We are looking at casting brass replicas of the circular knob and putting those on the new kitchen cabinet doors. The hardware will then get the imitation Bower-Barff Process finish.



We are doing this in a surprisingly cost effective manner. Like the rest of the Davenport restoration work we have worked hard to come up with innovative, authentic preservation/conservation solutions that are moderately priced. Some of our best work has been in identifying preservation/conservation strategies that are historically accurate and cost effective.
Last edited by pharding on Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

JimM
Posts: 1542
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Thanks for the update.



What dedication, to be (intentionally) mired in the mineutia concerning cabinet handles on a Wright house!



Pictures!!!!

JimM
Posts: 1542
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Thanks for the update.



What dedication, to be (intentionally) mired in the mineutia concerning cabinet handles on a Wright house!



Pictures!!!!

RJH
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:33 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Contact:

Post by RJH »

We are doing this in a surprisingly cost effective manner. Like the rest of the Davenport restoration work we have worked hard to come up with innovative, authentic preservation/conservation solutions that are moderately priced. Some of our best work has been in identifying preservation/conservation strategies that are historically accurate and cost effective.

I heard from reliable sources that it sold for $3.1 million. My guess was that the previous owners paid $1.5 million for it and spent $1.6 million on the restoration, reproduction furniture and a new historic large garage with office space.


There is something dearly wrong when a restoration costs

pharding
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: River Forest, Illinois
Contact:

Post by pharding »

RJH wrote: ....Of course, I would always be happy to offer my advice and experiences too and my fees are always $0. ....
I am sure that other astute individuals can read my mind when I see a brilliant statement like that.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

EJ
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:24 pm

Post by EJ »

Paul,



What the hell did you do to this guy? He's obviously bitter about something...for what? I just don't get it...is he bitter that you are carrying out a meticulous restoration? RJH is one strange bird....



At any rate, I certaintly enjoy hearing about your steps in the process and I sincerely hope to one day see them in person...
"It all goes to show the danger of entrusting anything spiritual to the clergy" - FLLW, on the Chicago Theological Seminary's plans to tear down the Robie House in 1957

Post Reply