Bevolo-Built To Light A Lifetime Since 1945
Mr. Bevolo worked for Ford automobiles, Sikorsky helicopters, Higgins landing crafts for WWII. He was a skilled metal worker be- fore starting his own business in the French Quarter in 1945. He turned to lighting after chance encounter with notable Louisiana architect, A Hays Town to create the Original French Quarter Lantern. This historic company located in New Orleans, is the oldest continuously operating gas light manufacturer in the country.
Richard Gerding; Tell us a little about how Bevolo has made history as a fourth-generation family business. What is the ethos of the company and how has it involved in today’s technological age?
Drew Bevolo: Since 1945, Bevolo has been manufacturing the highest quality traditional, antique, and custom designed hand-made open-flame copper lanterns, known world-wide for our craftsmanship and attention to detail. We hold true to the belief that old world craftsmanship is what truly makes our fixtures burn for a lifetime. By using the highest-grade materials, the most efficient, patented burners, the finest industry-standard techniques and real craftsmen, we are able to continue providing our customers with high-quality lanterns that last for generations to come. We consider our company to be a part of living history – retaining time honored, old world techniques & craftsmanship while simultaneously introducing the most innovative, efficient technology in the gas lighting industry – & offering lantern styles that range from traditional to modern. We take great
care in finding the perfect fixtures for our clients. From a single lantern on a home to restaurants, hotels, developments, & street- lighting, no project is too big or too small. Bevolo’s personalized design service & dedication to the highest level of craft, efficiency, & longevity truly shines above the rest.
RG: What projects are the Bevolo team most excited about this year and why?
DB; We are excited to celebrate our 75-year anniversary this year. Established in 1945, our brand is deeply rooted in history & tradition. Although we are constantly evolving and developing to stay on trend, we believe that classic design & quality products never go out of style. Every project is meaningful to us. A huge part of our business is collaborating with notable architects and designers on restaurants, hotels, and commercial projects but, just as exciting are the personal projects where we work directly with homeowners to find the perfect lighting for their home. Most of our clients work with us through our complimentary design service – as we prefer to review every project to ensure the best result. Original French Quarter Lantern “The origin of one of the most iconic features of New Orleans: One evening in the early 1960s, notable Louisiana architect A Hays Town took a stroll through the mesmeric streets of the French Quarter. He was seeking inspiration for light fixtures. On Royal Street, Town passed a door and heard the distinct tink, tink, tink of ball-peen hammers. He entered the shop, met the owner, and asked Mr. Bevolo Sr. if he could collaborate on a light fixture. If you can draw it, the shop owner said, I can make it. And an icon was born: the Original French Quarter Lantern, a copper, brass, and glass light now found in tens of thousands of residences and commercial buildings.”
RG: Where can readers find some of Bevolo’s most iconic fixtures in New Orleans?
DB: You can find Bevolo lanterns on some of the most notable homes, restaurants, hotels, and street lighting throughout New Orleans. Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights come to life, illuminating nearly every building listed on the area’s National Register of Historic Places, including The Cabildo, The Presbytère and Jackson Square. Many famous restaurants and hotels, including; Brennans Restaurant, Tableau, The Roonesta, The Bourbon Orleans. Bevolo has 4 unique locations in the heart of the French Quarter & has solely operated out of New Orleans since the company was established in 1945. New Orleans is a exceptionally appropriate city to host our niche business since it was among the first in the country to have urban gas lighting, after Baltimore & Philadelphia, and you can still see its influence throughout the city – giving it a mysterious, alluring atmosphere that is almost transcendent and exudes the feeling that one has stepped back in time. Our showrooms also capture this essence and are a memorable experience in themselves – showcasing a collection of our open flame lanterns & vintage/antique lighting in a historic building, in addition to, an opportunity to glimpse our craftsman handcrafting our signature lanterns on-site in our Exchange Alley workshop/museum.
RG: Showhouse Projects - What makes opportunities like these a great fit for Bevolo?
DB: Bevolo has worked with top designers, architects and builders throughout the country and has been a sponsor and featured in some of the top National Magazines. Including Veranda, Traditional Home, Southern Living, Coastal Living to name a few. Showhomes include: Historic Greystone, Beverly Hills; House of Windsor/Designer Windsor Smith; Hamptons Designer Showhouse; SE Designer Showhouse; and many more. We love participating in these projects to gain exposure to consumers who come to see the talent of some of the top designers in the country and an opportunity to introduce the Bevolo product to new designers/builders. We pride ourselves in offering a wide range of fixtures that will compliment every architectural style imaginable – and our lanterns can be found in all 50 states and 47 countries worldwide. We offer over 500 light and bracket combinations from historically accurate, traditional styles to more streamlined, contemporary lanterns perfect for more modern architecture. Most of our clients work with us through our complimentary design service – as we prefer to review every project to ensure the best result. We also offer custom options for clients who are looking for some- thing truly one of a kind. Mr. Bevolo’s extensive experience working with the iconic American companies Ford, Sikorsky, & Higgins greatly informed the way we manufacture our lanterns. Riveting the light is a flexible, durable joint that allow for expansion/contraction of the material with its environment and also lends itself to repair, if necessary. Copper is our material of choice given its beauty, durability, & longevity in every environment. Our signature oxidation gives the look of a 10-15 year age – so it will immediately blend into the elements of your home and continue to develop a rich, natural patina, which is another beautiful quality of copper. Efficiency is also important given that fact these lanterns are designed to burn around the clock. Bevolo has patent as lantern on the market in natural gas & propane.