Major Installation Phase Nears Completion for Terminal 1 Windows

The installation of new windows on the south side of Terminal 1 at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is now underway. More than 300 lites of glass were damaged in Terminal 1 during the April 22 tornado this past spring. Hilboldt Curtainwall Inc. of St. Louis, which is owned and operated by Jane and Denny Hilboldt, is performing the work on the $900,000 project, which is scheduled for completion by the end of this month.

More than 15,500 square feet of ½-inch laminated glass is being installed within the original floor-to-ceiling window framing. The new windows were designed to fit into the existing curtainwall framing, helping reduce costs and preserving the historic façade of the terminal, which opened in 1956.

According to Jane Hilboldt the design of the airport is an iconic one of arched vaults.

“During the original installation, plate glass was used and was cut to size on site. This was particularly useful on this project due to the numerous and unique glass openings,” says Hilboldt, adding that while much of the glass was shattered and blown out of the framing after the April 22 tornado, the aluminum frames remained pretty much in tact. Hilboldt’s firm was contracted to rework the existing frames and to install new glass while bringing the curtainwall into compliance with current guidelines.

“We have improved the glass type, made new glass stops, added structural shapes, and provided structural caulking,” she says.

Owatonna, Minn.-based Viracon is fabricating and supplying the glass.

“We are partnering with Hilboldt Curtainwall to provide our low-E coated laminated glass utilizing a Solutia interlayer for the main terminal portion of the overall project,” says Jeff Minear, architectural sales representative. “In addition, we are partnering with Broadway Glass to provide our VRE3-38 insulating glass product for the Concourse C portion of the project. We are excited to be partnering with these customers while supplying an improved glass solution.”

Interlayers from St. Louis-based Solutia were used in constructing the laminated glass. According to Amiee Davis, Solutia’s architectural business manager for the Americas, the company’s involvement with this project has been significant.

“The tornado that hit Lambert St. Louis International Airport and the broader St. Louis area was heartbreaking to our region,” says Davis. “Solutia’s world headquarters is based in St. Louis and we wanted to be of assistance in the recovery efforts. We contacted airport officials within hours of the storm passing and collaborated with the architect, Teng and Associates, to provide information about the latest laminated glass technology solutions. We are honored that in the end the new laminated glass in the main terminal features Saflex® interlayer technology, and has contributed to making the airport in our hometown a safer facility.”

There have also been some other unique elements of this particular job. For instance, Hilboldt points out that every piece of glass is a unique geometric shape.

“No two pieces are alike. Unfortunately, we can not cut this type of glass on site, as was done in 1956,” she says. “Rather, we must order each unit to size. Some of the openings had unique interior obstacles that were not known until the units were opened, forcing us to reorder some of the glass. All the while we are fighting the clock in that it is important to the airport to have this project completed for the Thanksgiving travel holiday.”

And it’s not just architectural details, such as the arching vaults and geometric glass shapes that make this project unique for Hilboldt; the firm also has historic ties to the airport’s original construction.

“In 1956, my father-in-law, Jack Hilboldt, was on site and oversaw the original construction glazing as a manager for the Stanly Hanks Glass Company,” says Hilboldt. “Now, his son, Denny Hilboldt, is on site and will oversee the renovation of his father’s work. It’s a great story of glazing through the generations.”