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25th anniversary of Starphire Glass traces history to Fallingwater

September 1, 2015  By PPG

Sept. 1, 2015 – Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater is known for many architectural firsts. One of the least celebrated may be the architect’s use of WHITEWATER glass, which incorporated a proprietary low-iron formulation developed by PPG Industries in the 1930s to make glass clearer and more transparent.

In 2009, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, owners and caretakers of Fallingwater, honored Wright’s allegiance to low-iron glass by initiating a five-year project to replace more than 300 windows in the historic, wood-bound home with replicas fabricated from STARPHIRE® ultra-clear glass, an advanced low-iron glass that PPG introduced 25 years ago.

An historic product in its own right, Starphire glass remains the clearest, most transparent commercial float glass available today – a quarter-century after its debut – with visible light transmittance (VLT) of 91 percent in a standard ¼-inch (6-millimeter) thickness.

Frank Lloyd Wright specified low-iron glass for its capacity to diminish the visual barrier between Fallingwater and its iconic creek-top setting. Starphire glass is commonly selected by today’s leading architects to achieve a similar objective.


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