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The Second class smoking room - today the Queen Mary's Royal Wedding Chapel.

According to recent national news articles, renovations which began in 2008 with the exit of the bankrupt operator, Queen Seaport Development, Inc., (QSDI), and their tax exempt foundation, the RMS Foundation, are continuing at the Queen Mary in Long Beach.  A total of $5-$7 million has been budgeted.  According to Victor Grgas, Property Services Bureau Manager for the City of Long Beach, the funds are part of a stipulated Capital Improvement Program (CIP) required of the ship's lessee / operator (Save The Queen/STQ),  as provided under the terms of the master lease.  

The room on the aft end of Promenade deck that served as the second class smoking room while the Queen Mary was in service at sea is one that is being renovated.  Since the early 1970's the room has been used as a dedicated wedding chapel.

                        
               The second class smoking room (called tourist class prewar) in 1936.
          

              
(left) Doors and tall windows added to the second class smoking room in Long Beach to create an entrance to the wedding chapel facility from the enclosed promenade.  (right) The silver and enched glass inserts in the door are originally from the Verandah Grill. 

As part of the recent renovation the carpeting was replaced and the pews re-upholstered.    The fabric and carpet chosen were the selections of J/Brice Design.  (See: http://www.jbricedesign.com/ ).  

 
               
The presentation board by J/Brice Design shows an awareness of the original design and function of the room, even though the client, the City of Long Beach and their lessee, SaveThe Queen/Garrison, chose to maintain the current wedding chapel usage.      

The design as implemented.                 


              

             

As you can see from the photos above, a neutral carpet with a carved art deco motif was chosen.  An off-white fabric was selected for the upholstery on the pews and the chairs from the former first class restaurant/dining room that are used here.

       

After apparently some debate, the original mahogany paneling that does remain in place has been retained. Because it has been in a protected area, it is in excellent shape. It covers approximately the wall sufaces on about one half of the room. With its paneling shaped to an Ogee section, that is flowing to a sort of "S" shaped curve, it is frequently mistakenly described as a linen fold pattern. Brian Hawley has pointed that a very similar pattern of paneling was used in the theater of the S.S. Caronia. (see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogee), 

  

The light fixtures have also been retained while the light level has been upgraded probably with new ballast and bulbs.  A second class dining room ceiling fixture that is used in what is now the entrance to the chapel has also been retained.

        



To read about the history of this room and our observations and recommendations on its optimal re-use see the article on our Queen Mary web site at:

http://www.sterling.rmplc.co.uk/visions/2csm.html

To read our analysis of wedding chapel services and the potential for them on on a restored  Queen Mary see:

http://www.sterling.rmplc.co.uk/visions/wedding_chapel_services.html


Bill Cwiklo                                                       last revised  March 14, 2010

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