by Roopinder Tara, Tenlinks.com
Like so many of our Midwest cities, Toledo, Ohio, was once a manufacturing center. It used to be called the "Glass Capital of the World," according to the city's official site.
Toledo wanted to pay homage to that industry and build an addition to its Museum of Art. There was only one problem: most of that industry had gone away. Its factories shuttered, its workers laid off. Undeterred, the city of Toledo went to China -- the country responsible for undercutting and usurping so many American industries -- to create the glass panels. If there was any shame in having lost to the world's labor bully and then have to suck up to them, it must certainly have been overcome. The $30 million dollar Glass Pavilion opened in 2006.
I'm hearing all about this from Kiel Moe, assistant professor of architectural technology at Harvard. He has included the Glass Pavillion in his book, Integrated Design in Contemporary Architecture. Professor Moe tells us that Toledo even imported the engineering: the glass panels were manufactured in Germany. We see the tortuous route the glass took as it circumnavigated the globe. If you have ever broken a plate transporting it from the sink to the dishwasher, you must marvel at the journey of the Toledo museum glass.
I'm sure the laid-off factory workers and engineers in and around Toledo will have lots of time to visit the Toledo Museum's beautiful Glass Pavilion.
[Reprinted with permission of CAD Insider.com]