The Russian Tea Room is arguably one of Manhattan's most famous restaurants and continues
to attract thousands of visitors each year who enjoy a unique combination of food and
ambiance. Opened in 1926 by members of the Russian Imperial Ballet, it served as a
meeting place for Russian émigrés who retreated to the U.S. following the Revolution.
The New York City landmark underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, with
Felber Ornamental Plastering of
Norristown, PA employing their expertise to produce highly detailed interior &
exterior decorative elements.
Bringing the Russian Tea Room back to life was not simply a restoration, but the creation
of an entirely new themed environment and all the design challenges that went with it.
The Russian Tea Room Bear adorns the entrance. Felber Ornamental Plastering artisans
sculpted the intricate original in modeling clay. Smooth-On silicone rubber was used to
make the flexible rubber mold. A face coat of duoMatrix® NEO polymer modified
gypsum system was then brushed into the surface of the mold, followed by a mix of
duoMatrix NEO and chopped fiber which yielded a casting that was lightweight,
weather-resistant and very strong. The finished casting was then gilded in 23K gold
The exquisitely detailed peacock motif originally sculpted in modeling clay by Felber
Ornamental Plastering artisans was reproduced using Smooth-On silicone rubber to make
the flexible rubber mold. The duoMatrix NEO polymer modified gypsum system was again used
to produce the finished castings that are lightweight and strong. Elements were then
gilded in 24K gold leaf.
The Result: The New York Times states that "Warner LeRoy, who purchased the
Russian Tea Room in 1995, has designed an unprecedented showplace and assembled a team of
world-renowned artisans to refurbish, revitalize and reinvent this icon." Today's Russian
Tea Room occupies seven stories including a two-story ballroom and is located on West
57th Street in Manhattan.
The Russian Tea Room Bear that adorns the entrance. Felber Ornamental Plastering artisans sculpted the intricate original in modeling clay.
Mold Max® Stroke is brushed over the model surface.
Mold Max® Stroke is brushed into all detail. Care is taken to work rubber into deep detail.
Mold Max® Stroke is applied in layers to an ultimate mold thickness of 3/8'' (1cm)
Cast in Smooth-On's duoMatrix® NEO and gilded with 23k gold leaf, the resulting piece is a stunning ornament.
The dancing bear is an unmistakable landmark of the Russian Tea Room.
Exquisitely detailed peacock motif originally sculpted in modeling clay by Felber Ornamental Plastering
Finished piece, ready for application of mold rubber.
Mold Max® Stroke is built up in layers to appropriate mold thickness.
Casting done in duoMatrix® NEO.
Mold Max® Stroke will reproduced the smallest detail.
Finished piece is gilded with 23k gold leaf and installed.
Castings provide exquisite ambiance to the Russian Tea Room.