For countless years, the mesmerizing flicker of the famous French Quarter lanterns has graced boulevards, courtyards, and homes all across the world with light. The romantic design combined with practical function shows us that copper lanterns possess a timeless elegance that can impact all of our lives for the better.
As a fourth-generation, family-owned business, Bevolo has been providing New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Greater United States with French Quarter lanterns and more as the oldest continuously-owned gas light manufacturer in the country. For 80 years, Bevolo artisans have fused craftsmanship, history, and modern technology to manufacture hand-made treasures.
Starting as Bevolo Metal Crafts, Andrew Bevolo Senior originally developed his industrial craft-making lights for ships supporting the allied invasion craft during D-Day. After the United States emerged victorious in the Second World War, Bevolo folded his knowledge into making elegant chandeliers and copper gas lanterns that graced the areas around his home and business. It was through his skillset and innovation that the French Quarter lantern that we all know today was born.
Streetlights would often need maintenance and repair, and local small businesses and individuals would bring them to Bevolo as needed. Eventually, metal rivets were used by Bevolo and the original artisans in order to provide extra support and durability to the pieces as a desperately-needed fix for lanterns that were over 100 years old. This created a lovely aesthetic that married the natural look of fresh copper with the timeless aesthetics of century lanterns, spawning the first series of proto-French Quarter lanterns.
However, the Bevolo legacy of gas lantern innovation didn’t cease there. Famous Louisiana designer and architect A. Hays Town was hunting for a light fixture to complement his own work. The legend states that when Hays asked Bevolo if the artisan could make a unique style of light, Bevolo responded with, “If you can draw it, I can make it.”
The elegant curves and unique pieces were put together to create the original French Quarter lantern that day. All present-day Bevolo lights can trace their ancestry back to the original riveted gas lanterns that Bevolo himself and his family were creating decades ago. Still hand-made, each French Quarter lantern is made with copper sliced by foot and hand shears. The echoes of ball-peen hammers fill the facility as a thousand rivets are tapped into their proper places for support.
Passing down knowledge through the generations, Dan Bevolo learned the business from his uncle and educated a fresh batch of artisans, expanded into new manufacturing facilities, and opened new warehouses for supplies in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for French Quarter lanterns. A museum houses the evolutions and samples of Bevolo copper gas lanterns and more, with a special emphasis on the unique style present in each one. There’s even the original work table where the first French Quarter lantern was constructed!
Despite the expansion of lighting styles and unique designs offered by Bevolo, the French Quarter has been a copper light that has stood the test of time. The natural “batwing” flame burner fuels the French Quarter lantern for only a few dollars a month when using natural gas and can be operated continuously. Fine craftsmen from New Orleans are proud of every copper lighting fixture they painstakingly make, and they are proud to put their marks on a tangible piece of history still being sold and used across the country today.
Bevolo French Quarter lanterns feature safety features built into the structure of the lantern that allows for safe usage regardless of area. The multiple fixture points guarantee a sturdy lantern that can endure a variety of negative weather conditions, and the flow of gas can easily be controlled. A multitude of hangers and brackets are offered with different stylings that keep your French Quarter lantern aloft for all to see.
Looking to add additional flair to your French Quarter Lantern? Take a peek at the variety of “mustaches” we offer! The traditional mustache is hand-made with a classic French curl, while the circle mustache offers a lean, elegant take. For those who are interested in something old-world, the reverse scroll mustache presents the perfect balance of curl and size.
With a name inspired by the French who once dominated the oldest area of New Orleans, the French Quarter lantern can be customized to fit into any atmosphere needed with a variety of ethnic accents available. Like a pastry chef sculpts icing with a spreading knife, so do the hands of a talented lantern artisan make the extravagant curls and twists of unique French Quarter lanterns. While nothing beats a French Quarter lantern with the original bracket, Bevolo is always open to inquiries about any of the lanterns that have kept the company a household name in New Orleans and beyond. Ready to place an order for one of our lanterns? Trained staff is ready to light the path with their knowledge and help get you started on the right foot!