If Emily Lanterman, the gregarious wife of Dr. Roy Lanterman, could see the condition of the lampshades in the historic Lanterman House ballroom, she would blush a color deeper than the roses that adorn its ceiling.
The 95-year-old shades are badly faded, and the fabric so brittle that bits of silk fleck off upon touch.
"They're kind of a hazard because they are so dry … and they sit right on light bulbs, and we would just rather they not go up in flames," said Melissa Patton, executive director of the museum.
The Lanterman House Foundation Board of Directors hopes to replace the 36 lampshades, which are arranged in pairs on 18 wall sconces throughout the room, by December with donations from community members. New shades will cost $100 each, Patton said.
In 1915, when Emily and Roy Lanterman built the Encinas Drive home they called "El Retiro," each room was decorated by Emily around a specific motif. For example, the dining room has a grape motif with grapes on the light fixtures and chandelier shades, as well as a purple rug.