© John F. Martin
© John F. Martin
© John F. Martin

California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Salon Doré

San Francisco, California

Salon Doré is one of the finest examples of neoclassical interior architecture in the United States.  Since 1877, it has moved locations seven times and has been on exhibition in the California Palace of the Legion of Honor since 1962.  Auerbach Glasow provided architectural lighting design services for the conservation and restoration project with the intent to return the room to its 18th century appearance, including capturing the lighting of the era.

Lighting restoration for this period room appears deceptively simple: historic luminaires and daylight.  In actuality, multiple lighting systems and simulated daylight are cleverly concealed within the architecture and historic fixtures giving the appearance of authenticity while artfully lighting the room.  The museum’s curator insisted that no contemporary light fixtures be visible.  Fiber optic spotlights are hidden in the chandelier and automotive “glow lights” are incorporated into all of the historic fixtures.

The restoration lasted 18 months and involved a team of curators, conservators and architects.

Client:  Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Size:  673 SF
Cost:  $2,000,000
Completion:  2014