Fall 2010
Volume 22

Inside this issue:
• Say Hello to Joseph Hunt Robinson III
Wicker Park Fountain
• Morningside Heights Campus Gates
Zinc Sculpture
• The Jefferson at Penn Quarter

• Facebook

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”.

Albert Camus (1913 - 1960)

Say Hello to Joseph Hunt Robinson III

Welcome to Joseph Hunt Robinson, born on July 5, 2010 to Alison and Austin Robinson. Hunt is named for his paternal great grandfather who founded Robinson Foundry. Sister Caroline, age 2, is thrilled and plans to welcome her little brother into her pool parties once he is a bit older. Grandparents Richard and Elizabeth Petrey Robinson; Susan Khoury and great grandparents, Dr. Donald Sanford Petrey and Elizabeth Horne Petrey, are also excited by this latest addition to their growing family. Austin Robinson is Plant Manager for Robinson Iron.

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Wicker Park Fountain

Chicago is home to many surprises but none as delightful and refreshing as Wicker Park. The West Park Commissioners originally installed an ornamental fountain in Wicker Park in the mid-1890s.  It included a cut granite outer basin with finials and floral urns, and a cast-iron fountain in the center.  Produced by J.L. Mott Ironworks Company, the two-tiered fountain featured foliage motifs and small grotesque faces which spouted water.  Because of the faces, the company named this the “Gurgoyle Fountain”.

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Morningside Heights Campus Gates

Founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II, Columbia University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States. Originally located near Park Place in lower Manhattan, the campus moved four times - finally landing uptown in Morningside Heights. McKim, Mead and White designed the site as an urban academic village in 1897 and since that time it has continued to grow with the erection of many new buildings and renovations to older structures. During one of these renovations in 1970 the gates at College Walk were given to the university by George Delacorte. With constant usage they rapidly became ready for refurbishment by Robinson Iron.

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Zinc Sculpture

In the early 1800’s zinc became plentiful due to ease of production and ready availability. At this same time architects were looking to use new mass produced materials. Cast iron and bronze were great for structural and art pieces but required high temperatures to melt. They were also difficult to join together in a seamless fashion. Not so with zinc. Castings or stamped sheet material could be lead-tin soldered together; the seam dressed smooth by filing or sanding and covered with finish coatings to remove all evidence of joinery.

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The Jefferson at Penn Quarter

If you attended an exhibition recently at a conference of the Association for Preservation Technology, The American Institute of Architects, or The National Trust for Historic Preservation, you probably visited Robinson Iron’s booth with its banner of this historic façade. The Jefferson at Penn Quarter, 616 E Street NW, represents the classic mid-nineteenth century cast iron storefront façade. Standing four stories in height it is modeled on an idealized Italian Palazzo complete with rusticated blocks and Corinthian column capitals. Years ago it was saved by the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation; removed; and stored at Andrews Air Force Base. There it awaited a new life and purpose.

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