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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....

"Vitrolite Man" Visits Ottawa

by Stephanie Szuda
The Times
July 31, 2011
Click here to read the story at

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In the past 30 years, Tim Dunn has worked up a reputation as the "vitrolite man."

Many turn to Dunn for his knowledge of installation and restoration and his supply. He's collected 20 tons of the glass that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

"I have all the material. People can do it. It's not impossible. You have to learn," said Dunn, of St. Louis. "All the people who did it originally are dead."

Vitrolite is an opaque pigmented glass that was mainly used for internal and external tiling and façades of buildings from the 1920s to the 1950s. It is often associated with the streamlining aspects of the art deco and art moderne movements.

The glass stopped being produced in the late 1940s. Dunn began working with vitrolite in 1985 and said business bloomed in 1997. He has traveled all over the country restoring the art deco glass and his website, , received an average of 10 hits a day.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Dunn was in Ottawa to restore the facade of a building in the 200 block of West Madison Street — Buchner & O'Toole Title Company and Designed For You. He also recently sold David Rabideau, who has restored some buildings in downtown Ottawa, vitrolite for Encore Salon, 228 W. Madison St. Dunn said there's a lot of vitrolite in Ottawa, which is a sign the downtown was prosperous in the 1930s.

"It was really popular. It still is — you can see from the resurgence of glass tiles," he said, adding glass tiles are back painted, while vitrolite has colors all the way through.

Dunn learned about vitrolite from Don Caviecy, who worked with the glass for about 30 years.

"I met him one day and he said, 'Nobody else does this. You might want to think about it,'" he said.

Tom showed him the tricks of the trade and Dunn started collecting. People often contact him when they want to dispose of their own glass. Dunn removes it and keeps it for future projects.

When pale green has a resurgence in fashion, he'll be ready for it. The glass comes in 32 colors, with black being the most popular.

The Ottawa facade was done in the late 1920s, early 1930s he estimated. The maroon and grey colors were popular then.

Restoration projects keep Dunn busy, but he's glad to see owners, such as Paul and Sandy Martin who own the Ottawa building, who wish to restore architecture.

"They like the look of it. They like the historic value. It's a piece of the architectural history of Ottawa. It's a good investment for the city.

"If you've got a dead center, people get the impression you have a dead town."