Lunchtime Learning: Vacuum Insulated Glass and the Rehabilitation of the Saarinen’s Milwaukee County War Memorial (by Traditional Building Conference) - Webinar

  • Date

    Wednesday, January 13 2021

  • Time


  • Location


The Milwaukee County War Memorial features an enclosed fountain designed by Eero Saarinen.  The enclosure comprises 686 glazed openings in a steel frame. Designed in 1955-1957, the memorial, known as “the birdcage,” was suffering from severe condensation and required a substantial rehabilitation strategy in order to preserve its Modernist character-defining features. This case study will review the decision to restore the glazing with new vacuum insulated glass. An overview of vacuum insulated glass will be presented as well.  

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the properties of vacuum insulated glass.
  • Discuss the strategy to restore an historic steel-frames glazed structure designed by a world-renowned midcentury modern architect.
  • Consider the materials required in complex restoration projects involving glass and steel structures designed during the mid-twentieth century - why they often fail and what to do about that.  
  • Examine other types of glazing and compare them to vacuum insulated glazing for future projects.  


Kyle Sword, Business Development Manager, Pilkington NA; Toledo, OH: Kyle Sword is the Business Development Manager for Pilkington North America and heads the company’s interests in historic restoration.  Has worked for Pilkington for 20+ years, mostly in glass manufacturing.  Ceramic Engineering degree from The Ohio State University and an MBA from California State University, Sacramento.  Kyle is involved with a variety of different technological developments in the glass industry. Main business function is to spread glass education and look for new opportunities to provide value for customers creating products with coated and flat glass products.  

Neal Vogel, President, Restoric, LLC; Evanston, IL: Neal Vogel is the Principal of Restoric, LLC in Chicago who has been involved in historic preservation projects from coast-to-coast as a preservation consultant and restoration contractor.  Restoric has worked on nationally significant landmark buildings and interiors designed by American masters such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Burnham & Root, James Renwick, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Eero Saarinen.  Many projects have entailed unique and innovative glazing solutions. Mr. Vogel has authored and illustrated numerous technical articles on building restoration for Construction History, Construction Specifier, Old House Journal, Stained Glass QuarterlyTraditional Building and the National Park Service.