The Construction Site Chandelier

LightandSafteyCage.jpgThey are repairing the elevators in our office building and it just gave me the craziest idea for a chandelier. When I came to work the other day one of the elevator doors opened to an empty brick shaft. I peeked in and three light bulbs were dangling on long cords with bright yellow plastic cages around them. They looked so modern—I could envision them perfectly over a Saarinen dining table. I love the way they mirror the shape of the bulb, the shadow the cage casts, and the stark industrial edge they have about them. In the middle of my fantasy about decorating the SoHo loft I don’t have, the elevator doors shut. And I had no photo to show for it. So for the past two weeks I’ve been getting off on random floors hoping to catch more repairs in progress. But today I got my photo and a whole adventure to go with it.


Returning from lunch I saw a workman’s cart on the 40th floor and I got off to investigate. No lights were set up but the nicest elevator repair man gave me the scoop on where to get another glimpse. They are gutting the 32nd floor and they have strings of them set up all over the place, says my new buddy. Not quite sure what to expect or if building security would approve, I grabbed Assistant Editor Leah Konen for backup.


The elevator ascends to 32 and opens to a concrete shell of an office the size of a New York City block. The space was raw but lit beautifully. Strings of caged lights traversed it, looking even better in hoards.

Hung horizontally like that, they would look amazing around a patio. And I still think five of them hanging over a dining table in a staggered formation would be the epitome of urban chic.


If yellow is not your thing, they also come in a metal style. V-2100 is quite sleek and I love how open and airy 1438-1 is. I found these on McGill Electrical Product Group’s website, they seemed to have cornered the market on safety cages. They don’t sell to the public (not surprised) but you can call (800) 621-1506 and they can direct you to a retailer in your area. Or funny enough, I found someone on eBay selling ten yellow cages with matching yellow cords right now for $90. Now that’s one cheap chandelier.