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News Coverage of Vitrolite and Tim Dunn

Vitrolite in the Headlines

Hoover Dam is latest job for St. Louis' Vitrolite Man
Tim Dunn restores the Vitrolite walls of the Hoover Dam's restrooms

Glimmers of History
Exterior of Bert's downtown drugstore back in high shine (Hastings, NE)

Early Vitrolite Corner Signs are Bringing New Collectors
Check out this article on Vitrolite from the September 2, 2013 issue of Antique Week featuring Vitrolite Specialist's Tim Dunn.

Coastland Apartments
The Vitrolite Specialist restores the bathrooms of this apartment building on the south side of Chicago.

Vitrolite Man Visits Ottawa
Tim Dunn restores the facade of a building on West Madison street in Ottawa, Illinois.

Owner Keeps Vintage Look for Local Building
Tim Dunn and crew restore the Vitrolite paneling on the Stumpp Building in downtown Mt. Vernon, IL.

Grand Theatre
Tim and Hank install a Vitrolite facade on the Grand Theatre in Grand Island. This is the largest Vitrolite installation since the 1950s!

Charleston Diner
Tim restores the Vitrolite facade of the Quarrier Diner in Charleston, West Virginia.

St. Louis Bathroom
Tim reinstalls a customer's Vitrolite in their newly renovated bathroom.

Apollo Theatre
The glass facade of this Oberlin theater is restored by Vitrolite Specialist.

Chicago Home
Tim Dunn restores the Vitrolite around a fireplace in Sherry Wiesman's Chicago home.

Alhambra Theater
Vitrolite replaced in the vestibule of the Alhambra Theater in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

Maplewood Home
Tim Dunn installs Vitrolite in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room of a home in Maplewood, Missouri.

Hamilton's Storefront
Tim Dunn repairs damage to 80-Year-Old Black Glass on Storefront of Hamilton's in Brownwood, Texas.

Artcraft Theatre
The Artcraft Theatre in Franklin, Indiana was restored with various Vitrolite techniques by Tim Dunn.

The Future Antiques
South Saint Louis storefront remodeled with Vitrolite.

New Use for an Old Tile
Tim Dunn restores a home in Ladue, MO.

Pieces of the Past
Tim Dunn restores storefronts in Palestine, TX.

Makeover Aims to Light up Downtown
Tim Dunn restores the Zoe Theater in Pittsfield, IL.

Vitrolite finds itself once again in demand – an article from the Kansas City Star.

Rivoli Theatre
Tim Dunn in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, restoring the Vitrolite on the Rivoli Theatre.

Glass Rejuvenated at Former Gibson Building
Tim Dunn in Appleton, Wisconsin, working on the former Gibson building.

Vitrolite Needed for Deco Theater Refurb
Vitrolite restoration of the Augusta Historic Theatre.

Visiting Specialist Fixes Old-Style Glass
Tim in Mt. Vernon, Il.

Vitrolite: Glass and class of the past Art glass of yesteryear offers a beautiful choice....

The Oman of Vitrolite All about Tim Dunn's work with pigmented structural glass from the Old House Web....

A Modern-Day Vitrolite Mine by Edelene Wood West Virginia's Parkersburg-Vienna area was a well-known source of world famous Vitrolite glass manufacturers in the decades of 1907-1937....

Vitrolite Man Vitrolite, that opaque glass tile common in fine St. Louis ....

Gala at Gem Theatre Marks Cultural Renaissance The Gem's red and gold marquee, standing tough in defiance of decades of decay, was alive again...

Ritz Theater Director Travels West to Gather Ideas for Talladega Antique Talladega Executive Director George Culver has just returned from a four-week, 5,600-mile driving tour....

Luck Helps Man Find Microniche If you'd ask Tim Dunn to fill out a survey stating his profession, he'd have a problem.  You see, what Dunn does lies outside the box....

Tim Dunn and Vitrolite: Each One of a Kind During the 1920's through the 1940's Vitrolite was used on the exterior of many buildings, especially theaters, as well as....

Visitor to Help Salvage State Theatre Glass During the 1920's through the 1940's Vitrolite was used on the exterior of many buildings, especially theaters, as well as....


by Candace Cooksey Fulton
Brownwood Bulletin
October 16, 2009

Tim Dunn shines the glass
Photo by Candace Cooksey Fulton
Timothy Dunn of St. Louis shines the black glass along the storefront at Hamilton's on Thursday. According to Dunn, his company is the only supply source in the world for the pigmented plate glass, which has not been manufactured new since the 1950s.

Considering how bad it could be, the opaque black glass surrounding the front of Hamilton's could be in much worse shape.

Sure, the storm May 8 cracked its share of panes above the store windows. And below the windows, there was a pane cracked from the building settling, a few nicks here and there and a need for repointing. But all in all, the probably 80-year-old glass is in good shape.

"Skateboarders can really do some damage, but that hasn't happened here," said Timothy Dunn, whose business card identifies him as a "Vitrolite specialist," and who is in Brownwood this week replacing the glass damaged in last May's storm on the Hamilton's storefront.

Dunn's specialty takes him all over the world. there are no other Vitrolite specialists.

Vitrolite is a pigmented plate glass frequently used in the 1920s and '30s in many art deco style storefronts and theaters. Dunn said thee are a number of buildings in Brownwood with the opaque mirror-like glass facades. At Hamilton's the glass is black and black is one of the 32 colors that were manufactured. Red, several shades of blue "and every shade of green you can imagine" were ll part of the color palette, as were beiges and browns.

What's tricky, is that no company has manufactured the glass since the 1950s. The panes Dunn and his apprentice Hank Falkenberg will replace on the Hamilton's storefront were salvaged from a store in Maryland.

Baring storms, skateboards and buildings settling over time, the pigmented plate glass seems to "last forever," Dunn said. "We come in for a restoration, replace what's broken, repoint around the corners and polish and it's beautiful."

Dunn, an "old tile and brick man," said he met a man sometime in the '80s who was installing, replacing and repairing Vitrolite and that's how he got started.

"That man retired and I started specializing in the Vitrolite – gave up the tile and brick work in the late '90s," Dunn said.

"Years ago my wife said, 'Are we going to run out?' She was worried I wouldn't have a job. Now she says, 'When are we going to run out?' She'd like me home, some. But we keep getting jobs. We've done theater renovations all over the U.S., sent Vitrolite all over the world," Dunn said. "It's a specialty for sure."

Brownwood isn't exactly unheard of for Dunn. He's been to places far more obscure.

"In Brownwood I can visit with my brother and his wife. Do you know Dr. John Dunn? We just had lunch together."