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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 Diane Toroain
St. Louis Post Dispatch
August 14, 2009

Photo by David Carson
Mannequin heads model the hats for sale at TFA.

Click here for pictures of the newly renovated storefront.

Visiting the Future Antiques is like walking onto the set of “Mad Men”: martini shakers, ashtrays, fur coats and Danish modern furniture, everything but Luckys and a half-naked secretary.

Indeed when COCA hosted its annual fundraiser with “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm, St. Louis’ socialites sent their personal shoppers to TFA for authentic brooches and dresses.

“The quality was great back then,” said TFA manager Michael, who is shy about sharing his last name. “The products were American-made. The furniture was made of solid wood, not compressed particle board. If it has lasted 50 years and still looks that good, it’s a safe bet it’s going to last during your lifetime.”

TFA’s affection for all things vintage extends to Vitrolite, the structural glass that graces the shop’s once-hideous facade.

Popular in art deco and art nouveau architecture, Vitrolite has not been produced domestically for 60 years. Luckily for TFA, premier preservationist Tim Dunn lives in St. Louis and had access to burgundy Vitrolite salvaged from a Nebraska building. TFA’s website chronicles the building’s amazing transformation.

“When we first looked at this building, it was painted concrete gray,” Michael said. “Nothing about it was appealing. But the Vitrolite suits the building’s original design.”

Michael says TFA never wanted to leave South Grand, but a rent spike forced the business out. To Michael’s shock, last year’s Christmas sales were the store’s best. One reason is clearly the building’s sheer size. At 6,000 square feet, customers can actually see the merchandise. On South Grand, displays were stacked to the ceiling.

But Michael also credits Morgan Ford’s groovy vibe.

“The last few years have been phenomenal,” he said. “The pet parade, the new businesses, the improvements to the neighborhood — it’s all coming together.”