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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


 Although the glass was originally produced only in white, the range of colors from which architects could choose soon included black, beige, and ivory. By the 1930s, more exotic colors such as tropic green, forest green, robin blue, suntan, and jade were offered by the principal manufacturers in addition to the stock colors of gray, yellow, and tan.

Agate or marbleized treatments in fanciful imitation of the "real" materials were also available. The back surface was occasionally silvered to give a rich mirror finish. Most of these colors and finishes were available in standard thicknesses from 11'32 inch to 1-1/4 inches. The glass's smooth exterior was obtained either by fire polishing during the normal glass fabrication process or by mechanical polishing when a high mirror finish was desired. In both cases, the smooth, slick, reflective surface made the material intensely popular with architects or designers who sought the "modern look."

 Although focusing on exterior applications, architects also utilized pigmented structural glass for interior spaces replacing the porous and more expensive marble and offering a highly polished, uniform visual appearance in keeping with design trends of the 1920s and 1930s. Other uses of the material included small, high-style installations in hotels, office lobbies, bars, and lounges.



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