Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
Email:, Blog: or

Dec 11 2015

FF: Standard Oil

Category: Beautiful Doors,Door ClosersLori @ 12:33 pm Comments (10)

When Jess Dey found this closer on eBay, I was shocked to see such a beautiful potbelly closer!  I’ve never seen a closer with decorative accents – usually architects want to hide the hardware.  As it turns out, this closer from the Standard Oil Building in San Francisco was rescued from the trash heap as a standard closer, and embellished by the seller with brass components from a light fixture – perfect for Fixed-it Friday!  Cool, right?  The eBay listing is here if you want to see more photos or add this closer to your collection.  🙂

AA Closer

AA Brass Before   Old Closer

While I was chatting with the seller about this closer, he mentioned some beautiful elevator doors from this same building that are currently for sale.  The doors were designed for the Standard Oil Company and were in use from 1970-1994.  The design represents the layers of the Earth and the oil veins between those layers, and each panel measures 8 feet x 2 feet x 2 inches thick.  Beautiful!

AA Elevator Door

AA More Panels

AA All Panels

Thank you to Jeremy Chatterton for allowing me to post these photos!

10 Responses to “FF: Standard Oil”

  1. Roger Black says:

    You have to have many decades in the Door and Hardware biz to even know what a pot type closer is! Repaired/worked on many in the 70/80’s. Remember being taught and able to change hands of them. Also remember walking into a restaurant in Wheaton, MD and seeing an old Yale pot type installed upside down and working! Have to give props to the installer/tech for coming up with that unconventional work around. But I was still appalled…

    • Lori says:

      Too bad you didn’t take a photo! 🙂

      – Lori

    • Jess The Door Closer Doctor says:


      about potbelly closers mounted upside down, you have to be careful with that install position, the seals (usually graphite or leather) under the spring would start to leak, also, some of them you would attempt to adjust them and it would not slow down.

      one I remember even you filled it through a hole in the middle of the shaft, of all years of answering the questions related to potbellies (if it wasnt rehanding one its about some leaker from top or valve) only 1 or 2 times I have received a picture of one mounted upside down due to no corner bracket or didn’t know better that it can go on pull and push side,

      another secret to potbellies, if you want to use it on a corner or drop plate, you must rehand it OPPOSITE the door!

      -Jess the door closer doctor

  2. Jess The Door Closer Doctor says:


    I had a feeling you would like that Russwin #26, one of my friends from that Facebook page (Door Closer Enthusiasts) was thinking about bidding on it.

    I have been curious and so has Alice (the woman who painted an LCN 4012 cover and arm, from same group) how did Jeremy attach the light fixture parts to the closer, I didn’t see any screw heads or welding, also, can you ask him for a photo of the back of this closer?? wondering if side decorations are attached to the “ears” or attached at horizontal part of closer body,.

    I find it pretty cool that you contacted the seller and he telling you about the elevator doors that came from the same building, those elevator doors are soo beautiful, they would make a great room divider!!

    happy to see I was mentioned in another great post from you!! 😀

    -Jess the door closer doctor

  3. Roger Black says:

    Lori, it was well before we had camera’s on our phones. Come to think of it, was well before that option was available!

  4. Jeff says:

    I just obtained a very old potbelly closer that still works. My intention is to install it, but in the event it fails, can they be repaired?

    • Lori says:

      I’m not sure whether New England Door Closer still repairs potbelly closers, but I would try them first.

      – Lori

    • Jess The Door Closer Doctor says:

      Jeff, yes, potbellies can still be repaired, what brand did you get??

      as far as I know, NEDC still repairs potbelly closers, some brands may be limited in what they can do for them, I would have to ask Neil for an updated listing of what they can still rebuiild.

      also, I am an expert in door closers, feel free to ask me if you do have a question or a problem with your closer Jeff!!

      for those who want to read it and like or make a comment/compliment, my facebook page for door closer questions.

      Lori: I hope it’s OK to paste the link here to my facebook page, I do not mind the closer questions about potbellies or any other closer brands people may be wondering about (even if it’s someone asking what screw does what or if I know any history about the brand)

      -Jess the door closer doctor

Leave a Reply