Awards & News

Herpel Featured in Adult Education Series II and III


Download the complete May 2007 Edition of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach Newsletter

May, 2007: Foundation News - This year’s Adult Education Series focused on the contributions of the artisan to architectural excellence. The Rosenthal Lecture Room was the location for the second lecture held on 7 March. Representatives from Les Métalliers Champenois USA, Porath Fine Cabinetry, Reich Metal Fabricators Inc. and Herpel, Inc. provided the members with a comprehensive overview of ornamental metalworking, woodworking and cast stone and columns.

Using slides, architectural plans and discussion Jean Wiart, President of LMC provided a comprehensive overview of his firm’s work ranging from the reconstruction and restoration of the torch and flame of the Statue of Liberty to high-end residential, civic and commercial work. It was evident to all of the pride in workmanship that permeated Mr. Wiart’s discussion of the exquisite one-of-a kind gates, grills, staircases, balconies, fences etc. that his firm produces for the likes of Madonna, Ralph Lauren and Bill Gates.

Jim Bailey, Reich Metal Fabricators of West Palm Beach continued the discussion of fine metal working. This local company fabricates metals, especially aluminum which is power coated to
resist the attack of salt air for many Palm Beach residences. Mr. Bailey brought illustrative samples of bronze and aluminum fabrications as well as pictures of the many installations which he has
done throughout the local area and in the state.

Rick Herpel provided an illustrated discussion of the use of cast stone in providing architectual ornamentation in residential architecture. Herpel, Inc. produces a extensive assortment of architectural
elements including decorative brackets, capitals, corbels and cornice sections etc.

Mr. Shaul Porath discussed the use of fine woods as an architecture element. He discussed the best types of woods to use in our hot, humid environment as well as the detailed planning required to obtain a superior result. The Foundation’s Robert M. Grace Library is representative of the superlative work done by Porath Fine Cabinetry.

The Series concluded on 21 March with scheduled visits to Reich Metal Fabricators, Herpel, Inc. and Porath Fine Cabinetry. Members met at the Foundation and proceeded by trolley to Reich Metal Fabricators and Herpel, Inc. A tour of facilities was conducted at each location by the firms’ presidents, Jim Bailey and Rick Herpel respectively.

At Reich Metal Fabricators participants saw how aluminum stock is heated and turned by hand into ornamental works of art. Workers explained the need for precision in mocking up decorative gates
etc. by demonstration on a complex ornamental gate in progress.

At Herpel, Inc. tour participants were shown the entire process of production from the preparation of plaster renditions to the making of rubber molds from the plaster renditions to the final casting of
the stone.

Participants were greatly impressed by the activities conducted at each location and peppered their guides with a multitude of questions so much so that the Porath Fine Cabinetry segment of the tour
was cancelled due to time constraints.

Richard P. D’Elia, Ph.D

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