El Círculo Cubano de Tampa
"Salón de Baile
Chandelier Restoration Project"
During the setting up for Raul Lavin’s Centennial Dinner (June 2017) I looked up and noticed how the chandeliers in the ballroom were missing so many of their glass prisms. I began searching for identical glass prisms in antique shops and on the internet. I finally found 50 similar prisms and ordered them. I thank the Foundation for allowing me to pursue this project.
My next trip to Tampa gave me a few days to go to the CC and try to place the prisms on the chandeliers. Lazaro Jimenez-Muñoz, Maintenance and Repairman at the CC has been instrumental in helping me with this project. I cannot thank him enough. We realized that quite a few other shaped prisms and glass fixtures on the chandeliers were missing as well.
The day before I passed by my parent’s home that had been sold after my mother’s death in 2007. (Dora Santos Carrera 1920-2007) There was a construction crew there gutting the house and remodeling it. I stopped and told them who I was and they welcomed me inside. As I looked through the window into the pool area, I saw my mother’s chandeliers laying on the patio floor. The man asked me if I wanted them. I told him no, I had flown to Tampa and couldn’t carry them back, even if I wanted to. I thanked him and left.
Well, as me and Lazaro were working into the evening hanging a bunch of the long, thin prisms, I remembered my mother’s two chandeliers. I wondered if they would still be there tomorrow. Possibly the chandeliers’ prisms and glass fixtures could replace the broken and missing parts on the Cuban Club’s chandeliers?
The next day I went by her house and the chandeliers were still there. And this day was my mother’s birthday, August the 19th! “Thank you, mama!” I brought them to the CC for Lazaro to work on as he had the time. Lazaro was able to take many of mom’s prisms and place them around the large, center chandelier’s inner tier that only had a few left. Mom’s prisms were identical and looked amazing when he finished. I can see her and dad smiling in heaven, thrilled that the prisms from their home’s chandeliers are now hanging in their beloved Círculo Cubano building.
Below are pictures of the chandeliers in the Salón de Baile. You will see the missing glass prisms in some of the pictures. The project is still on-going and we hope to restore the chandeliers to how they looked when the building was opened in 1917.