By LAWRENCE TAN
While Italian lighting companies have been coming up
with innovative designs to light up and accentuate modern living spaces, one
American company in New Orleans’ French Quarter has been making lamps that hark
back to the days of Thomas Edison.
And it was an Italian immigrant, Andrew
Bevolo, Sr., who in 1945 came to New Orleans in search of work who revived this
traditional craft. From a previous stint building boats for use during World
War II, Bevolo Sr. started Bevolo Metal Crafts, repairing street lights and old
A chance encounter with architect A. Hays Town led to a
blossoming partnership and the birth of the Original French Quarter Lantern,
which traced its architectural roots to early 17th century Europe.
These lamps are now a ubiquitous sight in New Orleans, adorning some of the
finest restaurants, hotels and other landmarks in the city. They will
eventually find their way into establishments across the country, and in 28
other countries as a result of expansion plans under the leadership of the
son-and-grandson team of Jim and Drew Bevolo.
Today, the family’s third
generation now runs the company, which still occupies the same building since
its founding, and using the same hand-riveting techniques and copper aging
process that were passed down from Bevolo Sr., to craft traditional lighting