Glass = Treasure

We’re working on an amazing project right now – the wood windows at West Tampa’s Centro Espanol building. It’s always interesting approaching a project of this scale – not only are there a lot of windows, but the size of them is significant. And that means a lot of glass!

As a Museum, we always re-use the antique glass already in a window where possible. But sometimes a pane may be cracked or damaged, so we need to replace it. The Centro Espanol building has beautiful windows with lots of different colored glass.

This week, we’re working on the first floor – restoring radius windows that house tiny slivers of incredibly wavy, bubble-filled, dusty purple-hued glass. When you drive by the building you may miss these, but once you spot them, you’ll see just how special this element makes these windows…

We know that many buildings of this age in the Tampa Bay area got their colored glass from Kokomo Opalecent Glass – a glass manufacturer in Indiana. Founded in 1888, they are still making that same glass today.

And indeed – as we worked on the windows at the Centro Espanol building it became apparent we needed this authentic glass to replace a couple small cracked pieces. These were tiny elements, but finding the correct glass, with the authenticity the windows deserved was important to us and the building.

Luckily a local stained glass store, West of the Moon happened to have 1 piece of the exact color we needed!

Check out our master glazer, carefully setting the glass into the restored sash.

We’ve learned a lot about glass and will be building a glass exhibit in the second phase of our museum. But we have so much still to learn. Please do contact us with any of your glass stories – or even better – any cool glass we could include in our exhibit at our museum.