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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 Trish Muyco-Tobin
Ladue News
October 19,2007

Art deco lines are the focal point of the vitrolite archway that joins the old kitchen with the new and extends to the study with its garden view.

Rob Boyle of Ladue is a self-described history buff. So when the time came for the retired radioman/sound contractor to redo his kitchen and add onto his home, he turned to a relic from the past: vitrolite.

Used extensively throughout the Art Deco era, Vitrolite graced the facades of movie theaters, diners and other establishments, as well as the interiors of homes built in the 1920s and 30s. "Vitrolite is pigmented plate glass that became popular as a finish for kitchens, baths, storefronts and other industrial uses," says Tim Dunn, president of Vitrolite Specialist, Inc. Dunn specializes in restoring and installing Vitrolite, and claims to have the largest collection of the glass (15 tons!) in the world. "They stopped making it in the early 1950s," he says. "I salvage it all over the country and buy caches of it when I can."

Dunn says a number of St. Louis homes still contain Vitrolite, especially in the Carondelet Park and University City areas, where most homes were built between 1935 and 1935. "It was the finish for kitchens and baths at the time," he says. "It was as popular as marble and granite are these days." Dunn says vitrolite is as easy to maintain as today's popular finishes, needing only glass cleaner and a soft cloth to clean. Its 3/4 inch surface also makes it almost impossible to break.

While he wouldn't call it a resurgence, Dunn says vitrolite is generating some interest. "There are people who appreciate its aesthetic look–the clean, polished, Art Deco style that vitrolite brings–people like Rob Boyle. Rob had an existing vitrolite kitchen, and he wanted the addition to look like the vitrolite had always been there."

A soapdish marks the wall where the old sink was located and the original kitchen ended.

Boyle's home was built in 1929, the same year as the Fox Theatre. His original kitchen and three bathrooms had vitrolite, and when the time came for a redo, Boyle says he wanted to save it all. "The folks from Norbert Markway Construction told me I was the first one who asked to save it," he says. "I was a little surprised because they do so many homes, but they said that people usually have the vitrolite hauled away."

While Boyle's kitchen received a new look, it's the old elements that make it shine. Of special note is the archway that connects the old kitchen to the new addition–the vitrolite panel used to make it came from the old Jefferson Hotel downtown. "Its history makes it unique and maintains the Old World feeling of the house," says Boyle proudly.