Chicago’s Gage Building Restoration Continues

Boston Valley is wrapping up the restoration of a new ornamental cartouche for Louis Sullivan’s Gage building in Chicago, Illinois. Designed by renowned architect Louis Sullivan, the Gage Building’s Art Nouveau façade is emphasized with intricate vine and ivy motifs that complement geometric patterns.

3D renderings were taken of the existing original terra cotta pieces to inform the replication of the units. Molds were made for each hand pressed unit, many of which had deep undercuts, necessitating the number of molds to complete one unit. Final units required hand finishing to bring out additional details.

Gage Building, Chicago, Illinois, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Restoration, Louis Sullivan

Louis Sullivan, Gage Building, Chicago, IL, Restoration Boston Valley Terra Cotta

The final steps in the factory involve laying out and inspecting the new ornamentation, comparing it to the original to ensure consistency. Below are some images of the layout of the new cartouche side-by-side with the original.

Gage Building, Chicago, IL, Louis Sullivan, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Restoration

Finished terra cotta units the make up the new cartouche await being laid-out to test fit and accuracy compared to the original.

Gage Building, Chicago, IL, Louis Sullivan, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Restoration

The new ornamental cartouche (top) laid out for inspection and comparison to the original (bottom).

A close-up of the old (top) and new (bottom) carved ornamentation adoring Louis Sullivan’s Gage Building in Chicago.

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