Altadena Sun Catcher Windows

Altadena Sun Catcher Restoration

Tico Tech, Inc.TM received a call from clients wanting to restore an old window they had found in the garage of a house they had recently purchased. The window had been leaning against one of the walls for an estimated fifty years or so and in the process had some other items leaning against it. One of the amazing qualities of glass is that gravity will have an effect on it over long periods of time. This particular composition had been subjected to time, heat and pressure such that the two “sky” pieces of glass had deformed while in the garage to the extent that they appeared curved like potato chips and could no longer be reset into a new window. The unique glass, with its bright colors, and no longer out of production, was the perfect choice for the panel. To be able to reuse it, the glass had to be first flattened in a kiln in hopes that the heat of the oven would not crack or discolor the glass. Much to our relief the process worked.

One other surprise of this window for both the clients and our team, was that the colors of the other glass pieces were also much more vibrant than when we first viewed the panel. Part of the process in a restoration is to separate the pieces, wash them, and remove any debris, paint and old glazing. After fifty years in the garage, there was so much grime and dust on the glass that the border squares literally came to life once they had been cleaned. The change was so dramatic that we called the clients to let them know that they would be seeing a different looking panel due to the cleaning and we wanted to reassure them that we had not changed the glass.

Once the final restored piece was completed, we made a new wood frame for the piece to be able to be hung in the dining room window to the interior of an existing transom glass window. When we fully restore a window panel, we get to become very familiar, almost intimate, with each of the pieces we are bringing back to life. This restoration stands out as very special among all the projects we have been honored to restore.

Eagle Rock Occidental College Herrick Memorial Chapel

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Pasadena Five Section Church Repair & Restoration

Pasadena Five Section Church Windows of Jesus and Bible

If one makes a beautiful leaded window, but still do not install it properly, the job is only half done.

Although Tico Tech, Inc.TM did not create these windows, we were called to see what we could do to address a problem with the five panels. As a result of a poor installation which permitted movement of the panels against each other, the upper panels had put too much strain on the lower panels and each panel was buckling and breaking. Amazingly, the windows had only been installed less than 10 years prior. The type of damage the panels were experiencing may be expected for windows that are 75 years in age or older. The problem these windows faced is a clear example of the need to understand how a window panel or set of panels are to be installed so that the art can be preserved over time. At Tico Tech, Inc. seeing the location, materials and method of attachment are key to every successful installation.

We were asked to remove the panels, repair the damaged pieces, and reinstall the five panels such that they would be correctly supported by the wood moldings on the sides. Now the windows are secure, and with proper maintenance, the panels should remain correctly stacked together for decades to come.

Pasadena – Glass Portico Restoration

Pasadena – Glass Portico Restoration

The portico in front of his historic Pasadena building was cracked in numerous places and in desperate need of repair/restoration. The trees in the area had dropped sufficient amounts of leaves over the years to give anyone below the impression that the lid of the portico was solid opaque material rather than glass. Many of the dentils along the edge of the perimeter had also been damaged over the years. Tico Tech Inc.TM was called in to see what we could do to restore the portico back to its original beauty.

Upon close inspection, we found that 8 of the 10 flat sheets of glass making up the lid of the portico were cracked and needed to be replaced and about nearly two dozen dentils were in need of replacement. The glass used in the portico was made of wire glass which no longer is deemed “safety glass” according to modern building codes—the City of Pasadena would not allow new wire glass to be installed. Because the building is registered as a historical building, Pasadena Heritage did not approve of a new glass which did not look like the original to be installed. The two factions were at an impasse when Tico Tech Inc. had been called.

The solution that Tico Tech, Inc. suggested, and which was approved by both regulating authorities, was to create a laminated clear/wire glass for the lid. The lamination of the glass produced a glass that fully met the safety requirements and the wire glass used on one side of the laminated glass still gave the portico its original look. With this arrangement everyone was very happy.

Silverlake National Lager Window Restoration

Tico Tech, Inc.TM was called to evaluate the “National Lager” window which was installed in a bedroom transom window of a Silverlake home. The panel was over 100 years old, and as time will eventually do to all stained-glass windows, was collapsing under its own weight. Upon close inspection, we noticed that the panel was entirely made up of zinc metal rather than lead. Zinc is a metal often used with art glass in that it is stiffer than lead, it is lighter than lead, and can produce a more rigid window panel. Zinc metal is limited in that it cannot be curved as severely as lead can be so the metal is often used as the exterior edge to a leaded window, but cannot be used for compositions with glass pieces that are round, for example. Fortunately, this composition included only straight lines and arcs. The restoration of the window was complicated by the fact that there were several pieces that were broken, and some of those pieces were of glass that is no longer in production and not available anywhere. As a result, Tico Tech, Inc. shuffled some of the glass pieces around slightly to produce symmetrical placement of the existing glass and found new glass that was similar enough to the existing glass to use where needed. The restored panel, now with new zinc metal should last another 100 years!