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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....

The News Graphic, Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Photo by Mark Justesen

Vitrolite glass specialist Tim Dunn and Rivoli restoration organizers Patty Gallun-Hansen and Lisa Vogt. Dunn is a leading authority on the art deco-style glass, which he has reapplied to the facade of the 125-year-old theater in downtown Cedarburg.

Back in the black – glass

1936 exterior returns to Rivoli Theatre with installation of Vitrolite glass

By Lisa Curtis
News Graphic Staff

Cedarburg – St. Louis-based colored glass specialist Tim Dunn remembers the first time he drove through downtown Cedarburg last spring.

Dunn was on his way to meet those overseeing the restoration of the Rivoli Theatre who had solicited Dunn to reconstruct the 1930s-style black glass face on the building.

Dunn at first thought it was an odd contrast to add the shiny black facade to a downtown dotted with 19th century stone buildings. It reminded him of the diamond pinky ring his mother had bought for his father later in his life, Dunn said.

His old German-born father had the rough, damaged hands of a man who spent many years using them in physical labor.

A diamond ring hardly seemed appropriate.

But the more Dunn envisioned it, the more the shiny black Rivoli theatre made sense.

"That's the little twinkle in a hard-working man's life," he told a group of people at a hard hat luncheon held recently to update supporters on the restoration project.

Dunn is one of the world's leading authorities on Vitrolite glass, a structural, pigmented glass popularized by the art deco period of the 1920s, '30s and '40s.

At any given time, Dunn has an estimated 15 tons of the glass in his home basement.

"I've pretty much cornered the market of the world on this," Dunn said.

So Dunn seemed the logical choice for those who are restoring the Rivoli back to its 1936 appearance, with its black glass face and old-time ticket booth in the front.

But applying Dunn's glass to the 15-year-old Rivoli building was no easy task.

Over the years, the building had become crooked and twisted – not an easy surface on which to apply 1,000 square feet of glass.

So the project organizers brought in JS Dahlman to right the building, said Mark Poellet, the Cedarburg-based architect overseeing the project.

Within the course of several months, the straightening was completed and Dunn began applying the glass.

Dunn said he is amazed at how quickly the project has moved along.

"This project has had a quick turnaround. It usually takes three or four years to finish a project of this size," Dunn said. "It's really to Cedarburg's credit."

Dunn expects to be done with his work in about two weeks, at which time construction will begin on the ticket booth.

The project includes updating the theater lobby. Poellet said planners are considering using the left-over glass on the inside.

"We may take the pieces that the glass was cut out of and incorporate that, bringing the outside art deco design and style into the inside so we can have a unity of design throughout."

The Rivoli, before Tim began work

An artist's rendition of the Rivoli's renovation

The Rivoli, resplendent with Tim's Vitrolite