Always an event that attracts public curiosity and attention, the Omni William Penn Hotel lowers their three magnificent crystal chandeliers in the main lobby each holiday season for their annual cleaning. Each of the 1,754 individual prisms of crystal on each chandelier is meticulously hand cleaned to prevent damage to the fixtures.
This painstaking process takes five dedicated cleaners a total of eight hours to complete each chandelier, and the hotel draws onlookers each year who are curious for a closer examination at the beauty of the fixtures. While these magnificent pieces are often synonymous with Omni William Penn, these chandeliers are not original to the 1916 opening, but were purchased in 1950 from a casino in Cannes, France.
The Chandeliers were installed in the early 1960’s, and are handmade Bohemian “Maria Theresa” silver crystal style. Maria Theresa was one of the great empresses of European history, and loved crystal chandeliers that originated in Czech lands she ruled during the 18th century. The chandeliers have stood as the focal point of the beautiful lobby of the hotel for years and create an unparalleled royal ambiance upon entering.
Each chandelier is twelve feet high, eight feet wide, and weighs approximately 500 pounds. There are 84 bulbs in each fixture, and lowering these giant fixtures takes 386 turns by hand of a large crank located in the ceiling crawl space just above the lobby.
The Omni William Penn Hotel, with 597 rooms and 52,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space has served as Pittsburgh’s premiere hotel since 1916. The opulence, striking beauty and charming presence of this historic landmark captivated guests from around the world. The hotel has long been considered the “Grande Dame” of the city and is known for attracting famous politicians, as well as stars of Hollywood past and present. Today, the Omni William Penn Hotel retains that heritage, while providing the latest in modern amenities and conveniences.