ORLANDO, Fla. – Eddie Majewski has helped create the details that make Central Florida unique. You’ve seen his work at the Winter Park train station, Church Street Station, Casa Feliz and the theme parks.
Majewski spent decades designing and building everything from copper range hoods to weathervanes.
Now his friends and family want to celebrate his life’s work: a legacy built of copper.
In a small industrial zone just north of Downtown Orlando, giant fans move the air in a small warehouse. Craftsmen cut, bend and hammer sheets of copper. The sound of thin metal creaking and twisting echoes off the walls, interrupted by the low pitch of a giant metal brake clanking as the operator forms a piece of shiny copper.
EJM Copper produces unique custom architectural products for builders and designers across the country. Look around the shop and you’ll see samples of their work hanging from the walls and filling a loft over the shop office.
Alva Stagner points to some of his favorites. “Most of these were for trade shows,” he said, staring up at a row of finials, those pointed spires that sit atop the apex or gable of a roof. There are about a dozen in various shapes and sizes. “Dream it up, draw it up and I’ll build it. That’s Eddie.”
Stagner was a salesman for EJM Copper for years, working alongside owner Edward Majewski.
“He’s one of the best craftsmen,” Stagner said. “Eddie does it because he loves what he does.”
Stagner stopped by the shop to celebrate the work of his friend of 30 years.
“Eddie’s really sick right now. Last year he developed lung cancer,” Stagner said. “Then last month he went back for another CAT scan and it had spread.”
Now friends and employees are struggling to keep the shop open while they worry about their friend and his family.
“I’m trying to accomplish two things,” Stagner said. “One of the things, and the main thing is, I’d like Eddie to have recognition for the art that he’s done in Winter Park, you know, because like I say, there’s not too many streets you can drive through that don’t have Eddie’s art adorned into the home, whether inside or out. The other thing I’m trying to accomplish is I’m worried about Eddie’s family, he’s got a wife and two kids.”
Stagner hopes to raise awareness for a GoFundMe account the family has set up.
“I’m asking the community if we all come together as a collective and try to help this family in need because they haven’t really been able to focus on the business,” Stagner said.
Majewski and the craftsmen at EJM Copper have worked on projects for custom homes and renovations throughout Central Florida and across the nation. Stagner said it was common to ship work to islands in the Caribbean and around the world.
Public projects include the Winter Park train depot (peacock weathervane) Casa Feliz, Winter Park Presbyterian Church (bell tower), Church Street Station and many theme park locations including Aerial’s Grotto (weathervane) and Gaston’s Tavern at Walt Disney World, Disney Springs, and Universal Studios (Harry Potter lands).
Stagner flipped through a book with dozens of photos that show kitchen range hoods the company has built, each one a different shape, color and texture.
“This is just a few out of the thousands that he’s done,” Stagner said as he thumbed through the pages.
There were dozens of photos but none included the man who made them. Majewski preferred to let the work speak for itself.
“He’s a jokester, he likes to cut up and joke. He likes to talk about God,” Stagner said.
Stagner walked over to a row of shelving and points down to the floor. A large metal box about the size of a small printer and the color of brown sugar rested against the wall. “That’s a leaderhead, the top of a downspout for gutters,” Stagner said. “That’s probably the biggest one we’ve ever built. It was made for the Boca Resort.”
Stagner said that project required 50 of those leaderheads and about 5,000 feet of gutter. No job was too big or small. In fact, when business was slow Majewski would have his staff build tiny reproductions that Stagner could take on the road with him to show builders the type of work they could do. It was a way to keep people employed.
“Just to keep his men busy and their families fed. That’s the type of man Eddie is,” Stagner said.
Stagner said Majewski was always looking out for his friends, now it’s their turn.
“He spent his whole life in Orlando, mainly in Winter Park doing artwork there, and he’s devoted his life to making Winter Park a beautiful place,” Stagner said.
If you would like to help the Majewski family with expenses, please visit their GoFundMe account.