ARG Conservation Services (ARG/CS) was contracted by the Elks Club BPOE No.#3 , to provide a proposal for conservation treatment of the third floor ballroom ceiling in their lodge located at 450 Post Street, San Francisco. The Elks Club ballroom ceiling is chamfered and ornately decorated. Painted to give the effect of faux mahogany beams, the chamfers break the ceiling up into twelve sections. The beams are designed in three parts, with the outer edges designed as flat-finished, 6”x 6” faux wood, which bookend octagonal cable molding patterns filled with muted floral motifs, and decorative fruit bowl images. Inside of each of the twelve sections, the space is further divided into twelve additional panels. These squares are completely flat spaces of plaster painted with an interlocking, almost Celtic, floral wreath interspersed with small dark bows. In sum, the ceiling is very ornate, made up of a litany of plaster designs and a rainbow of colors muted below a finish coat of dark brown varnish.
The ballroom ceiling finish had been damaged due to a leak from the restaurant prep kitchen floor drain on the next level. Once the leak had been repaired, conservation treatment was initiated by ARG/CS. The leak had created blistering, flaking, and peeling of painted surfaces, as well as erosion of the plaster substrate. Conservation treatments to repair the ceiling finishes addressed flaking finishes and deteriorated plaster located in various areas across the northern half of the ceiling. Conservation treatments included: light cleaning, re-adhering flaking paint, filling of cracks, reconstructing forms lost to deterioration, and in-painting. All work was performed in compliance with OSHA standards and the Guidelines for Practice and Code of Ethics of American Institute of Conservation.
Plaster & Finish Conservation
Elks Club, BPOE #3
San Francisco, California