Jeld-Wen Helps Re-Light New Orleans Lighthouse

September 28, 2012

The rebuilt New Canal Lighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, La., was recently re-lit, sporting new windows and doors from Jeld-Wen Inc. The lighthouse was winner of the manufacturer's Reliable Lighthouse Restoration Initiative in 2008, selected from a pool of 12 finalists with half a million votes.

 The New Canal Lighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita crushed the historic structure in 2005.  Dating back to 1839, the lighthouse was remodeled several times with the restored version modeling a structure built in 1890. With the U.S. Coast Guard moving to a larger facility in 2002, the lighthouse was maintained by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

In keeping with the historic aesthetic, the project used 16 custom wood windows from Jeld-Wen designed to resemble the windows that were in the lighthouse in 1890. This was accomplished by matching size and style all the way down to tiny details such as the narrow muntin bars with a unique profile that looks like the putty-glazed bars of yesteryear, the manufacturer reports. The lighthouse was also fitted with custom mahogany doors from Jeld-Wen, designed to match the historical style.

The windows feature the latest technology, as well, including Jeld-Wen's AuraLast wood to protect from wood rot and termites and impact-rated laminated glass to help protect the structure from windborne debris. 

The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation has been working steadily on the restoration since 2005, with donations coming from individuals and companies.  “When Jeld-Wen put our name out there it definitely brought attention to the project,” says JoAnn Burke, education director for the foundation. 

Now restored, the lighthouse will serve as a museum depicting the Lake Pontchartrain ecology and the devastation caused by Katrina.  New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson had the official duty of switching on the light at the recent re-lighting ceremony. The even also featured remarks by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and U. S. Senator David Vitter.