Approximately 15,000 steel basses produced by The Charles
C. Lewis Company will be featured prominently as part of the temporary
work of art, "The Gates", designed by internationally
acclaimed artists Christo and Jean-Claude and to be on display in
New York's Central Park for 16 days starting Saturday, Feb. 12,
City of New York officials expect the project to draw
tens of thousands of cultural visitors to New York City during the
display. A busload of C.C. Lewis employees will depart from the
company's headquarters at 209 Page Boulevard at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday,
traveling to Central Park to view the exhibit and the bases produced
by the company for the exhibit.
The husband and wife artists, with the cooperation of
the City of New York , have erected 7,500 fabric panels, The Gates,
each 16 feet high and between six to 18 feet wide and spaced at
12-foot intervals. The temporary work of art follows 23 miles of
Central Park walkways allowing the free hanging saffron colored
vinyl fabric to create a "golden
ceiling" for visitors to Central Park. The 15,000 steel bases
manufactured by C.C. Lewis serve as anchors to The Gates.
In the spring of 2003 officials at Charles C. Lewis
were contacted by the artists who were referred to the company by
a steel manufacturer. The artists chose Lewis to produce the bases
based upon their reputation in the industry for transforming raw
steel into a variety of uses through the company's unique cutting
and polishing processes.
According to Jack Corrigan, Vice President of Sales
at Charles C. Lewis, the work for Christo and Jeanne-Claude represents
the largest single order in the company's 120-year history. The
process included cutting and welding steel into 650-pound bases,
drilling and painting the bases and applying rubber footings for
the structures that naturally blend with the asphalt walkways in
The company was also responsible for transporting the
15,000 bases, which consumed 10 million pounds of carbon steel,
to a warehouse and staging facility in Queens, New York, prior to
their being erected in Central Park.
is the second project gaining international recognition for the
Springfield based company. In the 1980's, C.C. Lewis provided the
stainless steel steps used in the Statue of Liberty revitalization
project, headed by Lee Iaccoca. As with their previous projects,
Christo and Jeanne-Claude have financed the entire project and no
public financing has been used. At the completion of the 16-day
showing all steel steel and other recyclable materials will be reused.
According to Corrigan, "The Gates" project
will allow a lot of people both in and outside of our industry to
see what our company is capable of doing. We're very proud of the
work we have accomplished and to be associated with something that
will achieve national and international attention.
In addition to it's main plant in Springfield, C.C.
Lewis also operates facilities in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania and
The company's involvement in The Gates has brought the
attention of ABC's Nightline news show, and a portion of an exhibit
about the project in New York's Metropolitan Museum was dedicated
to the role played by C.C.Lewis.