Words by Claire Pool
Photos provided by Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights
Lining the well-loved streets of the French Quarter, the iconic gaslights you find all around are made by Bevolo, a gas and electric lights company based right in the New Orleans neighborhood itself. With traditional and antique lighting, they’ve created an iconic business, celebrating their 75th anniversary this year.
These handcrafted lights are shipped all over the world, and their old-world craftsmanship is what separates them from the rest. Each unique piece is made by a craftsman who is passionate about the art and time-honored form of lighting. The care and time put into each piece makes Bevolo all the more special.
Their lanterns embrace the romantic and artistic flair of the French Quarter and add on to the character of the historic city. Their material of choice is copper, chosen based on its beauty, durability, and longevity in every environment.
They’ve been doing this work since 1945; some of the lights they made are still hanging in the French Quarter at 70 years old! Like New Orleans, their brand is deeply rooted in history and tradition, and although they are constantly evolving and developing with new trends, they believe that classic design and quality products never go out of style—and due to that passion, today they are the largest manufacturer of hand-made, open-flame copper lanterns in the world.
You will step back in time to the 1930s when you walk into their showroom and when hear the story of how the company came to be. Italian immigrant Andrew Bevolo Sr. moved to New Orleans, where he began working with Higgins Industries on the landing craft for the D-Day invasion. After the war, he started his own company—Bevolo Metal Crafts. He made everything from chandeliers to surgical equipment, yet one particular piece changed his life forever.
As he was working in the metal shop, A. Hays Town, a legendary architect, walked by and heard Mr. Bevolo Sr. working. Town asked if Mr. Bevolo Sr. would collaborate on a special handcrafted, copper lantern. Mr. Bevolo replied, “If you can draw it, I can make it!” Then and there the Original French Quarter lantern was born. The rest was history.
Fast forward over six decades later, and Bevolo is still going strong—still producing each piece by hand.
Each lantern is made carefully by the incredible craftsmen of Bevolo. These craftsmen are what make Bevolo’s work stand out from other companies. 75 years after the business first began, the craftsmen are still the focal point of everything Bevolo does. You can even check your Bevolo fixture for a signature from your master craftsman!
People recognize Bevolo and trust their quality. Bevolo lanterns hang beautifully not only in New Orleans Historic Landmarks like The Cabildo, Jackson Square, Commander’s Palace, and Brennan’s Restaurant, they also light customer’s homes in all 50 states and over 48 countries.
Whenever you take your next trip down to New Orleans, keep an eye out for Bevolo. Their workshop and showrooms are open 7 days a week. They’ll make your shopping experience personal, and you’ll be able to walk through their collections of open flame lanterns and vintage lighting in their historic building. It’s a first hand look at the impeccable quality they’ve been producing for the last 75 years.