Summer 2006
Volume 5
Inside this issue:
Sara Robinson

Port Isabel Lighthouse
The Octagon House Lampost
The Grande Pointe

Historic Preservation/Restoration or New Urbanist Development – Robinson Iron has much to offer. Read about these and other projects of interest in this our 2nd Summer Newsletter.
Sara Holmes Robinson
Every company is changed markedly by certain events. In January of this year Robinson Iron was forever changed by the death of Sara Holmes Robinson. As Matriarch to a growing Robinson family she had survived the death several years earlier of her husband, Joseph H. Robinson, Sr. and had lived to see the small foundry they started become the Robinson Corporate Group.

Read on...

As the focal point of a New Urbanist landscape located on 1,500 acres near Franklin, Tennessee this period inspired fountain is truly grand in scale. Developer Southern Land Company worked closely with Robinson Iron to design the perfect centerpiece reminiscent of Forsythe Park Fountain in Savannah, Georgia. Their goal of creating a ...”true sense of place with a reawakened American hometown spirit”... consists of mixing residential, commercial and civic spaces side by side in the same development. Standing over twenty feet in height with bowl diameters of five feet and thirteen feet respectively the fountain is one of the largest cast by the foundry. Luke Robinson acted as liaison between the two companies tweaking the conceptual elements until the fountain was complete. “We just kept sketching until we got it right,” said Robinson. “It was most important that it expressed everything the client desired.” Painted white and installed in a dramatically spacious park set among newly built homes the fountain is a gathering place for afternoon strollers and playing children. Southern Land Company is presently at work on a new development for McKinney, Texas named Tucker Hill.

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Port Isabel Lighthouse
As the only historic lighthouse on the Texas coast open to the public, Port Isabel now stands restored to its 1852 appearance. It was in the 1800’s that a number of concerned ship’s captains asked that a light be placed at the site to assist in guiding ships through Brazos Santiago and the barrier islands. A masonry tower topped with traditional cast iron deck, railing and housing was built for the light. One hundred and fifty years later it was obviously in need of some tender loving care from Robinson Iron’s crew of experts. The entire cast iron assembly was removed to our facilities in Alabama where each piece was carefully cataloged, cleaned and inspected. Damaged castings were replaced with new replica castings and great care was taken to reuse as much of the original fabric as possible. After reassembly in Robinson’s shop the piece was again disassembled, loaded on trucks and transported back to its pedestal in Port Isabel. There Robinson Iron’s crew re- erected the piece atop its tower. The Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site consists of the Lighthouse and the keeper’s cottage which houses an interpretive center as well as the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce. Special activities include an annual Market Day and plenty of opportunities to picnic in the scenic park.

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The Octagon House Lampposts
“Pixilated” aptly describes the feeling one gets after starring for hours on end at a photo enhanced image. All those tiny, tiny squares of modulated gray tones hopefully shed some light on how the original form looked. Yet in the hands of an expert these seemingly unresolved shapes readily yield their secrets. Such was the case when the offices of Joseph Pell Lombardi Associates contacted craftsmen at Robinson Iron and together they began to study historic photographs of The Octagon House in Irvington, New York. It was evident that there once had been two cast iron lampposts in front of this unusually shaped octagonal structure. Resolving their details in order to replicate them would be another matter. The architect had already produced a beautiful conceptual drawing of the design leaving Robinson Iron to elaborate the details with pencil renderings of each component casting.

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Grande Pointe
So much beachfront development begs for enduring quality, not so with Grand Pointe at Inlet Beach, currently under construction near Destin, Fla. As part of its visual impact the architect, Phil Williams of Province One, Inc. designed custom cast aluminum finials painted in an antique finish with sophisticated toned gilding. Built to withstand hurricane force winds they are installed atop all of the many entrance piers throughout the grounds. One unique feature allows runoff from rain showers to course over the surface of the metal finial and drain through the interior of the pier. This self-cleaning feature will prevent any staining on the beautiful stone and stucco veneers used as surfacing materials for the piers. Stainless steel base plates and anchor rods will resist corrosion and assist in keeping the structural integrity of the assembly. Grande Pointe Developers, LLC are building for the future with an eye toward lasting beauty. They are anticipating their clients’ wishes and with Robinson Iron’s assistance are delivering in style. Knowjack, Inc. is the general contractor for Grande Pointe.

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See us in Booth 512 at the Traditional Building Exhibition & Conference, Washington, DC October 6-7, 2006
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