Tim Dunn and Vitrolite Each "One of A Kind"
THE CORDELL BEACON
The classic, and "classy" black and red tile on the front of the Washita Theater is a substance called "Vitrolite" and it hasn't been made since 1960.
Vitrolite is the brand name Libby Owens Ford used for its glass tile which began to be made in the 1920's. The colors were handmixed and the tile was manufactured in 7 by 12 foot sheets and hand cut on site.
|Tim Dunn installs a piece of Vitrolite at the historic Washita Theater|
The original Vitrolite on the Washita Theater was put on in 1946. Replacing Vitrolite includes finding pieces the correct color, cleaning it so it looks like new and putting it back up. Dunn located the "Fire Engine Red" Vitrolite for the Theater in San Francisco.
During the 1920's through the 1940's Vitrolite was used on the exterior of many buildings, especially theaters, as well as on the interiors of commercial buildings and homes. Many homes used Vitrolite in their bathrooms and the current trend is to have it repaired and/ or replaced. Dunn redid the Vitrolite in the bathrooms of two homes in St. Louis that had been built by Frank Lloyd Wright.
of the Washita Theater in New Cordell, Oklahoma.--Coutesy Elliott
& Associates Architects
Vitrolite weighs about five pounds per square foot. Dunn travels across the United States buying and installing Vitrolite. He is currently under contract to work on five Midwestern theaters just this year.
"Vitrolite is a product of the Art Deco period. It has a certain romance to it that was a result of the end of the war and a gernerations relief at being alive," commented Dunn. "I'm glad to be a part of saving the past for the future."