Lady Liberty Renovation Bolstered by Vetrotech Saint-Gobain’s Fire-Rated Glass

  Lady Liberty Renovation Bolstered by Vetrotech Saint-Gobain’s Fire-Rated

Business Wire

AUBURN, Wash. -- July 11, 2013

The Statue of Liberty National Monument reopened to the public featuring two
new fire stairwells and an elevator that will allow visitors with reduced
mobility (including, for the first time, those in wheelchairs) to look into
the Statue’s interior structure. Clear fire-rated glass specialist Vetrotech
Saint-Gobain North America, part of the family of companies from the world’s
largest building materials company Saint-Gobain, provided its
highest-performing fire-resistant glass products, CONTRAFLAM® 90 and
CONTRAFLAM® 120, for all exits on floors one through five in the Monument,
allowing the safe egress of building occupants in the event of fire. Most
notable to the renovation is the addition of a glass oculus between the third
and fourth floors, providing a unique translucent experience that allows all
visitors to now enjoy the landmark’s iconic interior architectural qualities;
this clear glass is the largest and heaviest circular piece of glass ever
manufactured by Vetrotech Saint-Gobain North America.

The Statue of Liberty National Monument originally reopened to the public on
October 28, 2012, after a year-long, $27.25 million renovation to make the
landmark safer and more accessible. The Monument had to close the next day due
to Hurricane Sandy and remained closed for repairs to the island until its
celebratory reopening on July 4, 2013.

It is estimated that the renovations will allow approximately 30 percent more
people to visit the inside of the Monument each year. Most importantly, the
life safety renovations will allow those visitors to safely and comfortably
experience it. Updating fire suppression systems was a critical safety
component of the renovation and it required glass specialist Vetrotech
Saint-Gobain to manufacture fire-resistant safety glass for the Monument’s
floors, doors and stairwells. Over 425 square feet of clear multilayer
fire-resistant safety glass (listed and tested with UL in accordance to UL263,
UL10c and UL9 standards) was manufactured for the Monument, delivering two
hours of fire resistance in the staircase partitions and 90 minutes in

“Saint-Gobain products are found in some of the most iconic landmarks around
the world, but we are especially proud to have our U.S.-manufactured
fire-rated glass featured in the Statue of Liberty National Monument, a world
heritage site and national landmark that is truly the symbol of liberty and
international friendship,” said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain
in North America. “The people of France gave the Statue to the U.S. over 100
years ago, and this international connection continues as the fire-rated
glass, critical to the renovation of this icon, was manufactured in the U.S.,
in Washington State by Saint-Gobain, a company originally founded in France to
make the glass for another of the world’s iconic landmarks, the Hall of
Mirrors at Versailles.”

Prominent French architect and structural engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel
designed a 92-foot tall pylon to be the primary support structure of the
statue’s interior. The “Eiffel beams” create an exposed flexible suspension
system, and the renovation team was strictly prohibited from altering it. The
new enclosed fire stairwell had to be delicately installed between the
crisscrossing beams without imposing on them, and a new oculus was installed
to provide additional light transmittance.

“The main goal of the renovation was safety, but it was critical that we
accomplish it without harming the historical qualities of the building so that
the amazing visitor experience of traversing Lady Liberty was preserved,” said
project architect Michael J. Mills, FAIA, Partner, Mills  ±  Schnoering 
Architects. “Enclosing one stairwell in fire-rated glass was crucial to our
safety goal, and with Vetrotech we found a clear fire-rated glass solution
that would deliver the safety we needed while still allowing visitors to enjoy
the historic fabric of the monument.”

The renovation’s project team also included general contractor Joseph A.
Natoli Construction Corporation and glass contractor Smith Glass (responsible
for specifying Vetrotech’s product).

About Vetrotech Saint-Gobain

Vetrotech Saint-Gobain is a leading producer of fire-resistant glass products
with more than 30 years of experience. Our products are available world-wide
over a network of local sales offices and regional production facilities. We
research, develop and produce clear fire-resistant glass solutions for maximum
protection of people and property;our glass combines both form and function,
accommodating impact safety, multi-comfort, security and decorative features.
A diverse range of product technologies and manufacturing processes makes our
approach unique. It allows us to propose the most appropriate solution, and
offer the full spectrum of fire resistance classifications, to meet virtually
any challenge. We are continually testing and certifying our glass within the
industry's most stylish fire-resistant framing systems and glazed building
elements. As a result, we can offer the most diverse range of applications, to
be integrated perfectly along-side non-fire glass types. To learn more, visit

About Saint-Gobain in North America

Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, has its North
American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. As the world leader in
sustainable habitat, Saint-Gobain is committed to inventing solutions to help
professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable,
healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings. The company has more than
265 locations in North America and approximately 19,000 employees. In the
United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $7.9
billion in 2012.

Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011, 2012 and 2013
ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for
outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy
efficiency. For more information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit and connect with the company on Facebook and


Saint-Gobain in North America:
Dina Silver Pokedoff, APR
610-341-7031 (office)
484-919-2103 (mobile)
Brownstein Group for Saint-Gobain in North America:
Laura Van De Pette, APR
267-238-4118 (office)
215-833-3458 (mobile)
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