When you hear accent walls, what do you think of? Maybe it’s your grandmas tacky dining room wall paper or maybe a DIY board and batten wall gone wrong. We are here to change the way you think of accent walls and let you know how aesthetically pleasing and practical they can be, especially when it is made out of glass block. Many associate glass block and glass bricks with the outdated architectural styles from the 1980s. With modern technology and design experts, glass block is being used in renovations of industrial lofts and restaurants, vintage storefront windows, and even as dividing walls between offices.
Restoring Glass Block in Youngstown
Some of our favorite ventures are renovating projects in our local area. Being a company located in the Cleveland/Akron area, we were thrilled to be chosen for an assignment in Youngstown, Ohio, only 65 miles from our office.
Zero Lot Lines
What is a Zero Lot Line House?
A zero lot line house is a piece of residential property where the house comes up or very near to the edge of the property line. Zero lot lines typically contain one side yard, whereas traditional houses include two side yards – one on either side of the house. A variety of properties can be considered zero lot lines, including town homes, garden homes, and row houses.
Historic Glass Block Renovations: Knapp's Centre
Owner: The Eyde Company
Architect: Quinn Evans Architects
General Contractor: Granger Construction
Mason: Schiffer Mason Contractors, Inc.
Knapp's Centre: The History
So many of the buildings we drive past have a history explaining why they were built and what they came to be. Knapp’s Centre is one of those historic buildings, built in 1937 as a home for the main department store J.W. Knapp Company in Lansing, Michigan. The 190,000 square foot building was constructed using alternating bands of yellow macotta and prismatic glass block. At the time Knapp’s was built, it was known to be one of the most modern building’s in the Midwest.
Historic Glass Block Renovations: Hecht Warehouse
Architect: Antunovich Associates
General Contractor: McCullough Construction, LLC.
Owner: Douglas Development
Hecht Warehouse: The History
Hecht’s was one of Washington D.C.’s oldest and most successful large-scale, locally-owned retail store. The department store itself was located on the corner of 7th Street in an “American Gothic” building. Hecht’s offered an assortment of goods for their customers. In 1934, Hecht’s department store installed the first escalators in Washington. As Hecht’s department store continued to grow, taking over most of the block, they sought to move most of its service operations to a new Art Deco building in 1937. This new building became the central warehouse for Hecht’s department stores.
GBA Architectural Products + Services had a very exciting 2019 as we worked on many exciting architectural projects, bringing new life to buildings with the addition of glass block and structural glass. We had the privilege of working with some of the best architects and contractors in the world. All of the projects we participated in were exciting and complex challenges that left us with a rewarding feeling when completed.
Installing Glass Block in Fort Worth's Pioneer Tower
We see a wide variety of glass block projects. We’ll often have projects where we install sets of glass block windows that not only enhance the fashion of a building, but also the safety. We renovate sidewalk vault panels to install LED lighting underneath, providing pedestrians with a beautiful lighting to walk on. We’ve made structures almost entirely built from 4x8x3 Seves Vistabrik, enclosed with glass roofing. There are many different ways to use glass to enhance your facilities.
Our latest project is another example. In their ambitious efforts to transform their structure from great to gorgeous, we’re renovating the Pioneer Tower in Fort Worth, Texas, adding 15 flights of exterior glass block to be used on all four sides of the historic building. Behind it will be LED lighting, ready to light the Texas sky.
They do it big in Texas.
Incorporating Glass Block + Structural Glass Outdoors
As summertime quickly approaches, home and building owners are beginning to tackle the outdoor projects that they have been planning throughout the colder winter months. Whether it's a small balcony or a large backyard, enhanced outdoor spaces encourage time spent outdoors can provide a number of personal and health benefits for occupants.
Bringing Beauty and Durability to Transportation Stations
A study from the American Public Transportation Association reports that public transportation ridership has increased by 30% in recent years. Whether on a train, bus or ferry, Americans took 2.5 billion trips on public transportation in the third quarter of 2018 alone.