Imperial Monterey

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The original furnishings of the NPS Crater Lake Science and Learning Center comprised three dozen pieces of original Imperial Furniture which was purchased in the early 1930’s. We conserved and reupholstered the entire set, and the finish was restored as per the previous page, as is the discussion about the name “Monterey” used for the Imperial Line.   LINK

The finish was in poor condition in general, with some of the pieces having deeper gouges from inappropriate stacking.  DESCRIBE

Below are before and after images of documented items for the web.
For an overall discussion of the project,
go to NPS Crater Lake Imperial Monterey Collection.

Sofa with Hinged Side Table

This sofa has a hinged side table and wide panel arms. There were two splits in the back panels, and missing cushions. After much consideration, MPFC replicated the back struts and created a modification on the sofa to prevent future breaks.  We added replicas of the iron strut on the back panels, right, in order to stabilize the back panels so they could withstand normal abuse.  This was a restorative change, but certainly part of preservation.

The last upholstery was gray mohair, and we could see all the upholstery fabrics going back to the original, shown left. The finish was as described above.  We chose a deep brown leather, and the backs and undersides were a red fabric that could breath.

Wingback Paddle-Arm Chair + Ottoman

The seat and back cushions of the wingback are constructed like the Sofa, above, but the cushion is a drop-in seat.  The original upholstery was hidden under layers of reupholstery, right, built similarly to the sofa.  We chose a deep brown leather, and the backs and undersides were a red fabric that could breath.  The finish was as described above, though inappropriate handling and stacking crushed deep gouges in the arms.

Long Rope Bench + other Benches

The Imperial Long Bench was built with a rope structure to hold the red leather cushion. The original cushion had several old upholstery fabrics going back to the original, right, some of which matched the sofa and chair shown above.  We chose the brown leather on the long bench, above.  The original ropes, in adequate condition, left, were thrown out by the original restoration firm, not by MPFC.

These “benches” probably began life as part of a bedroom set, as vanity seats.
We upholstered them in red leather for a pop of color.
They now serve as overflow seating when the rooms are crowded,
shown below in the image of the two paddle-arm chairs.

Two Paddle-arm Chairs with Cushions

The size of these two chairs is a bit generous for dining chairs.  They were likely to be chairs to sit on in a living room.  The original upholstery was hidden under several layers of reupholstery.  The seat cushions were constructed like the Sofa, above, but the back cushions were built like a pillow with leather loops to secure them in place.  The original upholstery was hidden under layers of reupholstery, built similarly to the sofa, but in various materials, below.  We chose a red leather for a pop of color, and the backs and undersides were a red fabric that could breath.  The finish was as described above, though inappropriate handling and stacking crushed deep gouges in the arms.

Three Upholstered Dining Chairs

These chairs may have been reupholstered in the sixties, as the material is not like any other in the collection.  There are two styles, shown right, and the finish is in the same general condition as they others.  It is likely there were many of these chairs, and some have been lost.  We reupholstered the restored seats with the matching red leather.

Strapping Armchair + Five Strapping Chairs

The original strapping was disintegrating on all chairs.  Under other circumstances we would have hand-dyed the leather strapping; unfortunately we had little time before the opening party.  We used a burgundy-red latigo leather to reweave the seats.   The finish was as described on the other pieces.  Note: historical images are with the table, below.

Expandable Dining Table + Two Benches

The picnic-style table expands in the middle with leaves, and the base construction is similar to the benches.  The mechanical attachments were not working properly to allow the expansion, though the leaves were intact.  The finish was as described in other pieces.

Prohibition Buffet

The prohibition buffet was a magnificent piece in poor condition.  Built during Prohibition, a built-in pop-up hidden shelving area accessed through the top drawer is perfect for bottles was part of the mechanical system, right.  The back and drawers were broken in several places, and the top and sides had numerous deep gouges and dings.

Corner Hutch

The corner hutch was the only piece in excellent structural
condition, but the finish was as described above.  This was the perfect place to display the “new” rugged Fiestaware bought for the visitor’s use.  It is period appropriate but still American-made.

Desk with Ball Feet + File Drawers

The desk has small ball feet, only found in one other item, the side drawers below.  Also, the round drawer pulls all match.  It is why we placed them as library-or desk items, instead of as a bedside table.  The finish was as described above.

Two Library Tables

The two library tables are mini desks, with tiny drawers.  Each had several gouges and splinters from stocking in storage, and the original finish appeared darker than the rest of the collection.  The finish was as described above.   After treatment the color of the finish was beautiful.

Side Tables Short and Tall

There were several tables.  The short tables have no drawers, and are short enough to be sat upon.  The tall tables have a small drawer so we imagine they might have been bedside table or occasional tables.  The joinery was stable in all the tables, but the finish was in poor condition with many splinters and pigment losses.

Tilt-top Table

The Tilt-top or Flip-top table has great storage and would also be a good locking secret storage.  The piece was in stable condition, though the hinge screws needed to be stabilized.  The finish was in poor condition, however.

Chest of Drawers, Short and Tall
+ Bookcases

The structure of bookcase was stable, no play if leaned on.  The chest of drawers were in good condition, though the drawer skids needed attention and the top and sides had dents and deep scratches.  The finish was extremely compromised on all pieces, as shown in the losses on top of the short chest of drawers in the photo left. Finish treatment was replicated so it would match the other damaged pieces.

Three Mirrors

The mirrors were in good structural condition, though the finish needed treatment. Fortunately, the rope used to hang one mirror had not been discarded, and was in good condition, so it was to be used again.  The other ropes on mirrors and other ropes on all the furniture was tossed before our involvement.

 

 dkatiepowell [@] aol.com / mitchellrpowell [@] aol.com
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