Senator Edward Kennedy Institute

Recreation of the Senate Chamber Ornamental Plasterwork


At the center of the new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is a very special room; a meticulously, nearly full-scale recreation of the actual Senate Chamber in Washington D.C. It was the late Senator’s vision to create a participatory experience wherein people, young and old, could learn what it is like to be a U.S. Senator.



Hyde Park Mouldings was engaged to recreate, in fiber-reinforced cast plaster, the full programme of architectural ornament that can be seen in the actual U.S. Senate chamber including an enormous embellished elliptical dome, octagonal ceiling, coffers, cornice and array of wall niches, overdoors, pilasters, columns, engraved friezes, wainscott panels and sculptural relief elements which largely define the room’s overall decorative tone. As it is not feasible to interrupt the business of the Senate for the purpose of a detailed survey, so we relied heavily on existing architectural survey drawings and high-resolution photography as reference during the planning and execution of the project.



From ceiling design elements to sizable bas reliefs, detailed clay models had to be fabricated by hand in our New York workshop. Once sculpted, the clay models were used to create the moulds for casting in plaster. Once installed, the embellishments gave the ceiling and walls of the chamber authenticity as well as ornament.



This prestigious project one Hyde Park Mouldings the 2016 Bullfinch Award from the ICAA New England Chapter. The Edward M. Kennedy Institute is now open to the public and the Senate Chamber replica is enjoyed by hundreds of visitors each month.