Aurora Lampworks was founded in 1983 in Connecticut by Dawn Ladd after being inspired by a captivating mauve lampshade with 8” fringe on a European trip. This lampshade was the catalyst for what would become a life-long passion for lighting and lighting fixtures, be they modern or antique. In 1990 the business moved to Brooklyn and relocated to Bushwick in 2014. The area was chosen not only for its location and proximity to Manhattan, but also because of the access to local vendors, which are located in the area.
From ornate and antique to minimalist and modern, Aurora has worked on a vast array of projects throughout the country. Its clients include a variety of universities, government and commercial institutions, and houses of worship. Aurora considers its highest purpose to be the restoration and preservation of the City’s many landmarked buildings. Recent examples include numerous rooms at the Park Avenue Armory, Carnegie Hall, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
While all projects come with their challenges, Dawn points out that restoring and updating historic fixtures to integrate modern LED technology without changes to the original design and aesthetic intent is uniquely challenging and also very rewarding.
Knowing that the fixtures the company works on will be around for many generations makes all the hard work of running a business in New York City so worthwhile.
As an animal activist, Dawn and Aurora do not use animal products in their work and try to be a source of education for compassionate alternatives. In addition, Aurora provides a temporary foster home for chickens and ducks found throughout the City by its residents. After their brief stay at the company, they are transported to their forever homes at various sanctuaries. This work was recently acknowledged by PETA when they awarded Dawn with a Hero to Animals Award.
The future only looks brighter for Aurora as they gear up to launch a collection of original fixtures by the end of this year.