Skylight Studios has worked extensively with historical associations, museums, universities, municipalities, private collectors, and organizations such as the National Park Service, the Trustees of Reservations, and Historic New England on the replication of original sculptures. At times this is done to preserve a historic piece by moving it indoors and replacing it with an exact replica in the original outdoor location. At other times an exact copy is needed at another venue. We have used our skills and experience to create faithful molds and copies in enduring materials that are suited for the intended location and visually match the original objects.

Selected Projects

Salem Custom House Eagle Reproduction

Built in 1819, this historic building served as offices for the U.S. Custom Service. While American author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked there, he found inspiration for The Scarlet Letter. Today, it is a National Park Service museum that contains exhibits related to its history. The heroic-size wooden eagle on the pediment was carved by Joseph True in 1826. The weathering over time deteriorated the wood, and it was taken down in 2004 to preserve it indoors. Skylight Studios worked with the National Park Service to conserve the original. Afterwards, a silicone rubber mold was fabricated to cast a resin replica that matched the original in every detail. The NPS conservators determined the original colors and gilding that Skylight Studios duplicated in the copy.

Katharine Lane Weems’s Rhinoceros Restoration and Reproductions

Katharine Lane Weems created twin heroic-size rhinoceros sculptures for the entryway of the Bio Labs Building at Harvard University as well as graphic designs of African animals that are carved into the terracotta facade. During the 1980s, Skylight Studios restored all of Weems’s original plaster models for the rhinos and created two bronze copies that are installed at the Zoo Center at the Bronx Zoo and one resin copy which stands in front of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Old State House Restorations and Reproductions

Skylight Studios worked directly with the National Park Service and the historic preservation architects to restore the hundred-year-old antique sculptures and ornaments at the Old State House in Boston in 1911. We also recreated the Simon Willard Clock face and the Massachusetts State Seal which were nonexistent. We worked from archival images in order to ensure the accuracy of the recreated works.

Preservation Society of Newport County Restorations and Reproductions

For decades we have provided restoration and reproduction services to the Preservation Society of Newport County, the steward of the Newport Mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. We have completed a variety of projects, from creating reproductions of figural groups to restoring stone benches. Reproductions are often desired to replace outdoor sculpture that has suffered from damage or deterioration.

Old State House Lion & Unicorn Restorations

By 2014, the Lion and Unicorn sculptures that grace the roof of Boston’s Old State House were in need of restoration. We had performed restorations on these sculptures in the past, and the Bostonian Society (now Revolutionary Spaces) and the National Park Service reached out to us. The Lion and Unicorn were deinstalled and restored in our studio. The restoration included re-gilding the copper sculptures. The head of the lion held a time capsule which was relocated to the base instead.

Barney Mausoleum Reproductions

Everett Hosmer Barney and his wife and son are buried here. Everett Barney’s wealth came from fabricating weaponry for the Civil War and from his other business endeavors. He located this mausoleum, in what is now Forest Park, near their mansion. He bequeathed his estate and an endowment to Springfield to create a public park. For Skylight Studios’s project, the sculptural elements were restored, molds were fabricated, and the sculptures were reproduced in polyester resin to replace the originals.

Art and Science Sculptures Restorations

Art and Science were sculpted by Bela Pratt and installed on the front steps of the Boston Public Library in 1912. The Library reached out for restoration services in 2014. We touched up the patina on the bronzes and gave them new protective coatings and cleaned the stonework.

A. Piatt Andrew Bridge Bronze Doors Restoration

The four bronze doors on the bridge over the Annisquam River in Gloucester, MA were installed in the 1950s. Sculpted by John Francis Paramino and cast by the foundry T.F. McGann & Sons, there are two designs, both cast in duplicate. One design depicts a portrait in profile of A. Piatt Andrew – the statesman who the bridge is named after – and the other illustrates scenes of fishermen and the harbor. Working in collaboration with Cianbro Corporation during the major rehabilitation of the bridge, we restored the bronze doors by cleaning them down to the original metal surface and applying a new patina and protective coatings. We also inventoried the doors and door components and repaired the door frames and other damaged components. We reinstalled these beautiful works of art in 2015.

John Harvard Statue Restoration

The famous monument at Harvard University consists of an approximately 5-foot-high bronze sculpture of a figure sitting in a chair on a granite base with bronze reliefs. In 2021, we cleaned the bronzes, renewed the patina, and applied protective coatings of incralac and wax. We cleaned the granite base as well. Now the monument looks as it would have originally and is also protected from future damage from the elements.

Nathaniel Hawthorne Statue Restoration

Located on Hawthorne Boulevard in Salem, MA, the monument consists of a 9-foot-high bronze sculpture of the famed writer sitting on a rock atop a large granite base. The treatment completed in 2017 included cleaning the granite base, repointing the joints of the granite, cleaning the bronze, renewing the bronze’s patina, and applying protective coatings of incralac and wax to the bronze.

Altar Restoration

The altar at St. John’s Church in Worcester, MA was missing several major sculptural elements that had once existed. Using only historic black-and-white photos, Skylight Studios was able to restore the altar to its original beauty in 2010. By resculpting the statues of St. Joseph and Mary, as well as the lambs, scroll and domes, it now looks as it once did almost 100 years ago.

U.S.S. Kearsarge Memorial Restoration

The memorial is located in Marine Park in Boston. It consists of an anchor and chain from the U.S.S. Kearsarge atop a concrete base and was dedicated in 1930 to Naval officers of the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I. By 2021, the memorial was in disrepair, and the dedication plaque was missing from the base. Skylight Studios and the Department of Conservation and Recreation determined that the anchor and chain should be restored, the concrete base should be replaced with a new granite base, the missing plaque should be recreated as accurately as possible, and a new plaque should be created to note the restoration and rededication of the memorial. The anchor and chain were deinstalled from the base which was demolished, restored off site, and finally installed on site on a granite base with the same design as the original. The plaques were installed on the base as well.

Soldiers and Sailors Civil War Monument Restoration

This monument is located in Attleboro, MA. Three bronze figures adorn a tall, approximately 35-foot-high granite shaft with two wings at its sides. In 2019, work was performed to better secure the Flagbearer statue, recreate the four missing cannonballs in granite, recreate the Sailor statue’s sword in bronze, clean the granite base, remove corrosion from the bronzes, renew the bronzes’ patina, and apply protective coatings of incralac and wax to the bronzes.

St. Mary’s Hall Relief Sculptures Restoration

We participated in the renovation of the historic building at Boston College led by the architectural firm DiMella Shaffer of Boston. We collaborated with McGinley Kalsow & Associates, Inc. of Somerville, MA from 2012 to 2014 on the restoration of the stone exterior by restoring the numerous relief sculptures and ornament.