Hubbell Lighting Brands help restore Katrina-ravaged New Orleans Lakefront Airport

Date Announced: 07 Oct 2011

Greenville, SC - Hubbell Lighting, a market leader in innovative lighting technology, design and manufacturing for over 120 years, recently began the installation of a wide array of lighting fixtures to illuminate the exterior and interior of the iconic New Orleans Lakefront Airport (NOLA).

Started in 1929 and built on a man-made arrowhead peninsula jutting into Lake Pontchartrain, NOLA was opened amid great pomp and circumstance in 1934. Some 10,000 visitors from the United States, foreign countries, and local New Orleanians attended the airport dedication dubbed at the time as “ the air hub of America”.

Recognized as a monument to the political ego of then Governor Huey P. Long (who was a freshmen Senator in 1934), NOLA, was considered an architectural masterpiece. It was an Art Deco wonderland featuring murals by noted artist Xavier Gonzalez, Friezes by Enrique R. Alferez, and an array of stone wall and floor treatments.

Unfortunately, much of the terminal’s splendor vanished shortly after the Cuban missile crisis of the 1960’s when the building’s exterior was encased in cement panels and the second floor balcony overlooking the grand lobby was enclosed. More recently, the building sustained sever exterior and interior damage when it took on 100+ mph winds and five feet of water as Hurricane Katrina pushed Lake Pontchartrain inland.

As a result, the guardians of Louisiana’s endangered works of architecture braced itself for the building’s last rites, but instead, thanks to the foresight of Robert Lupo, Chairman of the Board, and Louis Capo, Director of the Non Flood Protection Asset Management Authority, and a special pool of FEMA money earmarked for historic restorations, a celebration is being planned. The terminal’s concrete tomb has been stripped away to reveal the original beige aggregate façade and nearly 150 windows that were bricked in 50+ years ago.

One of only a handful of art deco terminals still standing in America, today, a refurbished exterior with exquisite details is once again in plain view.

The project, a labor of love for Alton Ochsner Davis, who leads the architectural team headed by project architect Paul Dimitrios of Richard C. Lambert Consultants, is scheduled for completion in late spring or early summer of 2012.

Hubbell Lighting representative Melinda Herring Keller of Gulf States Lighting worked closely with Paul Dimitrios, and senior electrical designer Ron Kirsch of Marrero Couvillon and Associates to plan and specify the required luminaries. No less than eight of Hubbell Lighting’s 21 brands are being employed to illuminate NOLA’s exterior and interior.

On the exterior, Kim Lighting Architectural Floodlights with horizontal spot reflectors closely graze the terminal’s façade to define the relief of the façade and the sculptured friezes. The spot reflector, fixed at a precise mounting point and angle creates a dramatic effect on the center sculpture over the terminal’s main entrance known as The Spirit of Aviation.

Exterior wall sconces on the terminal’s front and side entrances from Architectural Area Lighting (AAL) include a custom designed screen created by Paul Dimitrios. The custom screen repeats the motif used in the original 1929 architectural details.

Down light cylinders from its B700 series from Devine Lighting, known as the “Mack Truck” of cylinders, are used on the terminal’s back façade. These sturdy luminaries were selected to withstand the brunt of any future tropical storms and the corrosive, coastal atmosphere associated with the area.

The series of luminaries provided by Kim, AAL, and Devine are powered by pulse-start systems, the latest energy-saving HID technology available today. The energy savings and lighting benefits from pulse-start systems (vs. standard probe-start ballasts and lamps) include increased lumens per watt, improved lumen maintenance, extended lamp life, reduced warm-up time and improved color consistency.

Lastly, Prescolite has provided its Architektur series down lighting, employing compact fluorescent lamps, to illuminate the front and side canopies and the exterior porticos of the terminal.

For interior illumination, specification grade down lighting from Kurt Versen light the priceless original Gonzalez murals as well as retail spaces, offices, and the bar area in the terminal.

Columbia Lighting luminaires are used in the terminal’s lobby, offices, and kitchen. Linear fluorescent fixtures are used around the entire perimeter of the lobby’s first and second levels; offices with grid ceilings employ Zero Plenum® Troffers (ZPT) from Columbia’s createchange® series of luminaries; and the kitchen uses wet location troffers in the main work area and commodity fluorescent fixtures in secondary areas like pantry, telephone rooms, mechanical rooms, and storage rooms.

Wall sconces from Progress Lighting mark the way along a corridor leading to the tower on top of the terminal. Here, tourists and New Orleanians alike experience a 360 degree view of the airport, the city, and lake Pontchartrain.

Dual-Lite Life Safety provides LED Edge-Lit exit signs throughout to guide egress paths.

In addition to the exceptional lighting treatments provided by all of the Hubbell Lighting luminaries, lamp sources, from T5s for fluorescent luminaries to compact fluorescents and LEDs for down lighting, offering the utmost in energy efficiency, are used by all of the Hubbell Lighting brands who participated in the rebirth of NOLA.

About Hubbell Lighting:

Hubbell Lighting is one of the largest lighting fixture manufacturers in North America. The company provides a full range of indoor and outdoor lighting products serving the commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential markets. Hubbell Lighting brands include Alera Lighting, Architectural Area Lighting, Beacon Products, Columbia Lighting, Compass Products, Devine Lighting, Dual-Lite, HomeStyle Lighting, Hubbell Building Automation, Hubbell Industrial Lighting, Hubbell Outdoor Lighting, Kim Lighting, Kurt Versen, Prescolite, Progress Lighting, Security Lighting, Spalding Lighting, Sportsliter Solutions, Sterner Lighting Systems, Thomasville Lighting, and Whiteway.

About Richard C. Lambert Consultants:

Richard C. Lambert Consultants is a civil engineering and architectural firm who has been serving the greater Louisiana market for the past quarter century. They were retained in 2006 to work on nine projects from airport hangar rebuilding to terminal restoration. Though the bulk of their work has focused on architecture, the company did do some civil engineering work including the building of a seawall around the entire perimeter of the airport to stop erosion. Architecturally, they addressed the interior and exterior of the airport’s terminal including the remarkable renovation of 40 cast stone panels surrounding the top of the terminal’s walls that tell the story of aviation at the time.

About Gulf States Lighting:

Headquartered in Baton Rouge, LA, Gulf States Lighting serves the commercial, industrial, institutional and residential market place as the agent for Hubbell Lighting while its sister company, Gulf States Electrical Sales, represents manufacturers of electrical supplies. Heading the Gulf States Lighting team on the NOLA project is Melinda Herring Keller. A graduate from the University of Texas with a degree in Interior Design, Melinda has worked in the lighting industry for over 20 years. As the Gulf States point person on the NOLA project, she brings to the lighting specifier a technical knowledge of the application of lighting and lighting design combined with an understanding of aesthetics. With this capacity she is unique in that she provides a bridge between the technical and electrical interests of the electrical designer and engineer, and the design and desired results of the architect and owner.

Hubbell Lighting Ken Beale, 864-678-1704 Director, Marketing Services


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