A Brief History
Murray's Iron Works
Murray Leisner founded Murray’s Iron Works in 1967 just outside the city limits of Beverly Hills. Murray's expertise and artistic abilities were quickly discovered by some of the most prestigious Southern California interior designers and their wealthy clients. To meet the increased demand, Murray established an apprenticeship program similar to the education he had received as a young man in Europe. As the number of Master Blacksmiths in the workshop slowly increased, the type of work changed from residential gates and railings to include furniture and lighting not only for designers, but also as private-label pieces for showrooms along Melrose and Robertson.
In 1987, fueled by hotel designer James Northcutt, who introduced Murray's Iron Works to his colleagues Howard Hirsch of Hirsch-Bedner, and Robert Barry of Barry Design, Murray's Iron Works saw tremendous growth and began supplying hotel furniture and lighting for four and five star hotels around the World. Two years later, the workshop moved to Culver City, California and the former workshop on Melrose was converted to a beautiful showroom designed by Northcutt and renowned architect Gary Koerner of Three Architecture in Dallas. From the original five employees, the production staff increased to nearly 150. In addition to Los Angeles, Murray's opened Residential showrooms establishing locations in Design Centers around the United States and a company owned showroom on Fulham Road in London. Murray's eventually had showroom representation in multi-line showrooms in Tokyo, Toronto, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York, Denver, Scottsdale, Las Vegas and Bloomfield Hills.
In 2001, the workshop, now housed in 19 buildings in Culver City on Blackwelder Street, moved to South Central Los Angeles and a newly renovated single 210,000 square foot facility. Along with the foundry, total production space was 310,000 square feet. The number of personnel reached a maximum of 383 hard-working employees. Murray's expanded their offerings by purchasing Mosaix Studios, a company that specializes in creating one-of-a-kind Mosaic stone tops along with the Athena Collection of outdoor furniture. The larger building allowed Murray's to expand its production capabilities including adding a state-of-the art water-jet that cuts patterns from up to 1 1/2" thick solid plates and six glass slumping kilns that produce glass bowls and curved panels for light fixtures. The machine shop was also expanded by adding, for example, a large lathe that would twist two inch solid iron bars in 10 minutes, reducing the three hours required by a blacksmith and his apprentice. The foundry added a bronze crucible to the existing large capacity aluminum crucible.
The ability to add lost-wax bronze casting to the varied production capabilities allowed Murray's to accept the challenges of creating complicated lighting designs while maintaining complete in-house control of production and offering clients extremely competitive pricing.
Murray's has maintained high quality standards throughout its growth. Pieces created decades ago are now sold as heirlooms at famous auction houses. Pieces are also on permanent display in museums including the California Heritage Museum. Murray's continues to provide exquisite examples of their work to high-end residences and hotels around the World. Today, with hands-on management by Murray's sons, Steve, Gary and Ed, Murray's Iron Works maintains the standards set by its founder nearly 50 years ago and provides the finest lighting, furniture and architectural work available in the World.