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Courtesy of G Lighting
G Lighting Chandelier 1The chandeliers in the American Queen riverboat are surrounded by inset halogen lamps meant to resemble the night sky.
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Courtesy of G Lighting
G ChandlierThe Wehrenberg Theatre at Springfield features G Lighting fixtures in the lobby.
Let There Be Light
Homeowners who are renovating grand, old homes in the St. Louis area sometimes shed light on the impact a century-old company has had on the city’s history and architecture.
“To this day, in historic houses in and around St. Louis, people will pull out an old lighting fixture from their porch or their dining room and see a Gross Chandelier Company label on it,” says Nicholas Gross, president of G Lighting, formerly known as Gross Chandelier Company, whose business celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 2008.
Back when his grandfather, Edward Linton Gross, founded the electrical and gas lighting company, its ornate chandeliers were destined for the city’s finest homes.
“The focus was on opulence,” Nicholas says. That focus persisted into the 1920s, when Gross Chandelier Co. started manufacturing awe-inspiring light fixtures for churches.
Today, the family-owned and -operated company focuses exclusively on high-end light fixtures for commercial spaces, such as hotels, casinos, and office buildings. Architects, electrical engineers, or lighting professionals choose from G Lighting’s standard products or work with in house designers to create custom fixtures.
One custom project was installed in the Majestic Star, a riverboat casino at Gary, Indiana. It’s a star-shaped chandelier with a twenty-foot diameter, more than five hundred incandescent lights, and Italian, colored crystals. Weighing thousands of pounds, the chandelier cost one hundred thousand dollars. Nicholas’s cousin, Edward Linton Gross III, vice president and chief designer, came up with the design.
G Lighting also designed and manufactured fixtures for the American Queen, a steamboat offering recreational cruises along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The riverboat needed light fixtures to complement its Victorian interior, so architects pored over hundreds of G Lighting’s drawings, archived since 1900.
The design process had some scintillating results: Surrounding two colossal chandeliers in the ballroom is an arrangement of low-voltage halogen lamps recessed into gold stars to simulate the night sky. Interior designers at Atlanta also turned to G Lighting to capture the grace and charm of the Old South, which they envisioned for the ritzy Westin Lenox Hotel. The elegant wall sconces and chandelier they selected and installed would have pleased the likes of Scarlett O’Hara.
“That’s my cousin’s forte—between his love of history and the training he received from an old-time lighting designer, who’d been with our company for about forty years,” Nicholas says. “Taking on these types of traditional projects has really become his cup of tea.”
Within the company, Nicholas and Linton are third generation. The fourth generation includes Linton’s children, Michael and Rachel.
Call 800-331-2425 or visit www.glighting.com for more information.