Wednesday 6 February 2013

Madeira Lift restoration

View east along Marine Parade in the early 1900's

After a year of restoration work the covers came off the Grade II Madeira Terrace lift this week to reveal a stunningly renovated roof complete with corner griffins and dolphin weathervane. and dramatic new LED lighting.

As originally opened in 1890, the lift was powered by hydraulics. It descends into a shelter (now Concorde 2) which was designed to accommodate visitors during bad weather.

In February 2003 thieves dressed as workmen erected stolen scaffolding around the top of the lift and stole the dolphin weathervane. In 2007 a man walked into the John Street Police station deposited the weathervane on the counter and left without saying a word.

Major work to the lift mechanisms and shaft was carried out in 2009 - the present roof work was the final phase of the restoration project

Two of the original griffins, which sit on the corners of the roof, have been repaired and the remaining two cast to match. The large orb and weathervane have also been repaired and were finally lifted into place by five men who carefully adjusted the dolphins and compass to point in the correct directions.

Lightning protection hidden within the structure has also been added along with exterior lighting so the roof and lift to be seen at night.

The lift operates from Easter and throughout the summer season.

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