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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


 Initially, Sani Onyx was produced for utilitarian purposes such as refrigerator linings. Manufacturers valued the glass as a practical, easily cleaned, and sanitary product. Its uses, however, expanded rapidly. By the second decade of the 20th century, consumers viewed pigmented structural glass as an inexpensive substitute for marble counter tops, table tops, wainscoting, and restroom partitions.

 The first large-scale interior architectural application of pigmented structural glass was in the Woolworth Building (1912-1913) in New York when Architect Cass Gilbert sheathed the restrooms with Carrara Glass. Later in the decade, the decorative possibilities of the glass received even more attention.

 As the Century progressed, architects began to substitute pigmented glass for traditional building materials in new construction. Large expanses of architectural detailing such as sleek door surrounds, polished interior lobbies, and striking commercial storefronts became expected and familiar features within new, expanding downtown business districts in the 1920s and 1930s.

 In addition, designers quickly found pigmented structural glass to be an increasingly popular modernizing material for older and out-of-date buildings.



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