Historic Glass

Last week I got to see something really awesome on a business trip to New Orleans. No, it wasn’t Bourbon Street although I did make a stop there, too. What I got to see was one of the oldest federal buildings in the South – U.S. Custom House that began construction in 1848. The building was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina and we’ve been working as the owner’s rep since then to oversee the rehabilitation and renovation. They are wrapping up Phase 1 of the construction process and I went to assist in completing the substantial punchlist.

One of the things that was fascinating was the many different types of glass patterns that were used. I am sure a lot of that has resulted from changes in the technology of glass making. As windows broke and had to be replaced, the old ones were no longer being produced so they used a different type. This does call to question what do we do in situations like this where we have historic buildings and can’t replace it with the same type of glass pattern. Part of me wishes we could replicate the glass and be able to put in the same type for historic purposes. At the same time though, it was amazing to be able to see all those different types of glass used in one building, which wouldn’t have happened if they had replaced it with the same types.

I don’t really know what the right answer is, but for me, I just credit this trip as a great learning experience and a chance to see glass types that I would be hard pressed to find somewhere else. I’ve included a few pictures I snapped that show just a small sampling of the glass types and patterns.