Duvinage Spiral Stair Co. started in 1895 and continues to do business today. These durable, American staircases have been installed in the White House, the National Gallery of Art, MIT and Harvard, to name a few. Their custom designs, quality product and professional installations are part of why they are still in business today.
While searching an old barn in our area, we had our first encounter with one (so we thought).
In the back of the lower barn, at rest in an old horse stall, lay an old cast iron staircase and other misc. cast iron pieces. After pulling them all out and laying them across the yard, (taking a minute to catch our breath), we learned that there were two sets of spiral stairs.
One curved up to the left the other curved up to the right. Each staircase had it’s own landing but there were no railings or balusters to be found. We were persistent, we searched the rest of the barn, and were able to find one of the staircases center poles and circular base plates.
Each tread proudly announced it’s maker “Duvinage Spiral Stair” on the edge of each tread. Surprisingly, most still had the orginal diamond shaped gripping patterns still in place. The owners informed us that they were pulled from the Bailtimore & Ohio railway station in Philadelphia before being demolished in the 1950s. Further research revealed that the two sets of Duvinage spiral staircases were one of the earlier models, design 320.
Both spiral staircases have since sold. The customers were metal workers with the means to reproduce part to make them whole again. Thanks to the architectural salvage movement, they will continue to be used in Texas and Oregon.
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