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Collums Construction Hangs 600 lb George Rodrigue Painting in WWII Museum

Thomas Nevitt with the George Rodrigue painting

Thomas Nevitt with the George Rodrigue painting

Thomas Nevitt thought he had 24 hours to relax after spending six weeks working around the clock making sure our commitment to The National WWII Museum was completed on schedule. Thomas, Mill Manager for Central City Millworks (Collum Construction’s sister company) had assumed the role of Project Manager for the installation of the store fixtures, front lobby wall panels, restaurant fixtures, reception desk, theatre millwork, USO Bar and numerous other custom architectural millwork items for the spectacular WWII Museum opening November 7th, 2009. Thomas knew the importance of this job and had worked tirelessly to complete the job.

On Wednesday afternoon Thomas was overseeing several last minute repairs to damage created by the huge influx of tradesmen rushing to completion. During the previous few weeks he had helped Satterfield and Pontikis (the contractor) complete work that other finish subcontractors could not complete in time.

We were asked to design, fabricate, paint, and hang a support for the 600 lb painting in less than 24 hours!



As Thomas was having his workers wrap up for what he had been told was the last time before the opening ceremonies, S&P dropped a bomb on him. It turned out that the huge painting “Victory on Bayou St John” by talented Cajun artist George Rodrigue was to be unveiled at a ceremony the next afternoon. The painting was estimated to be 600 pounds with the custom frame. The contractor was asked at the last minute to engineer a solution to hang the picture and have it custom designed, fabricated, painted, and hung in less than 24 hours!

Unveiling George Rodrigue painting at WW II Museum

For Thomas, who had spent the last six weeks achieving the impossible daily, it was just another day at the office. He spent that evening designing the structure with the aid of a structural engineer. The next morning he put it in production at CCM’s 30,000 square foot facility in Central City New Orleans (less than 2 miles from the WWII Museum). The scheduled unveiling occurred at 5:30 that evening without any of the attending dignitaries realizing Thomas and his crew were frantically hanging the picture 30 minute earlier. The photo above shows the picture immediately after it was unveiled.

(Click the following link to see a gallery of his crew’s fabulous New Orleans millwork)