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Historic Structural Glass

Early Manufacture & Use

Historic Installation

Exterior Installation

Interior Installation

Reasons for Damage

Maintenance & Repair

Repair of Cement Joints

Reinstall Glass Panels

Removal of Glass

Replacement of Glass


Historic Structural Glass

The dramatic growth and popularization of the early 20th century Art Deco, Streamline, and Moderne architectural styles were fueled, in part, by technological advances in the building materials industry. New products, such as stainless steel and plastics, enlarged the realm of architectural design. The more traditional materials, on the other hand, quickly developed fresh, innovative forms and uses.

For example, the architectural glass industry became especially creative, introducing a series of new glass products known as structural glass. Used predominately for wall surfacing, these now familiar products included glass building blocks, reinforced plate glass, and pigmented structural glass. Pigmented structural glass, popularly known under such trade names as Carrara Glass, Sani Onyx (or Rox), and Vitrolite, revolutionized the business and rapidly became a favorite building material of the period's architects and designers.

  The versatility of pigmented structural glass contributed to its popularity. Not only could the material be applied to both the exterior and interior, the glass could be sculptured, cut, laminated, curved, colored, textured, and illuminated. Often applied directly over existing architecture to remodel older buildings--as well as in new construction--a veneer of pigmented structural glass had the ability to define a building's architectural character as new and up-to-date.



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