Refurbishing a classic Yellin Gate

Completed, refurbished gates at Locks Gallery

Completed, refurbished gates at Locks Gallery

In 1908 Samuel Yellin hand-forged a beautiful set of Iron gates for the editorial offices of Lea and Febiger Publishers in Washington Square Philadelphia. Ever since then, these gates have expressed their beauty for all that pass by.

In 2016, Compass Ironworks was contacted to refurbish these Yellin Masterpieces. Locks Gallery, the building owner, was very prudent in getting them refurbished at this stage. Definitely within that golden hour, just when the finish is starting to deteriorate, but there is minimal corrosion or damage to the structural integrity.

“We just love these gates, they are awesome. You can tell each individual scroll was forged by hand. There are no two exactly alike. With the joinery method, the hot collar detail and the rosettes, these gates are truly inspiring for us,” says Amos Glick of Compass Ironworks.

Weighing in at over 400lbs each, removing these gates was not an easy feat, and due to the alcove they sat in, it was impossible to utilize any hoisting or lifting equipment. Once both gates were stripped down, the Samuel Yellin Stamp was clearly visible. Once cleaned up, the gates were dipped in a liquid epoxy for complete encapsulation of the fine details of the beautiful work. Next, an eco-friendly powder-coat was applied to withstand the elements for decades. The Latch mechanism was deconstructed, cleaned and oiled and reassembled, but did require some adjustments for smooth operation.

The workings of the latch still in mint condition after 108 years of use.

The workings of the latch still in mint condition after 108 years of use.

Upon installation, it was discovered a previous refurbishment had compromised the door opening. Some strategic alterations were made, the gates were realigned, and these magnificent gates now have a new lease on life, ready to perform for the next 108 years.

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