Date: 2 November 2022
Photo: Ribbon cutting (L-R): Ricardo Maiz, President, Vitro Architectural Glass; Sara Innamorato, PA State Representative; Cheryl Tracy, Executive Director, National Aviary; Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive; Bobby Wilson, Pittsburgh City Council District 1; Emily Kinkead, PA State Representative; Maggie Pike Iddings, Program Officer, Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD)
When the National Aviary on Pittsburgh’s North Side began planning the renovation of its Wetlands habitat, Vitro Architectural Glass, a longstanding partner, was ready, willing, and able to contribute to this historic restoration project.
To provide the perfect ambiance for the new habitat, Vitro donated more than 20,000 square feet of Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass – one of the world’s clearest, most transparent float glass products, transmitting 91 percent of visible light in a standard ¼-inch (6 millimeter) thick lite.
Another component of this project was to incorporate ‘bird-friendly’ glass, so a portion of the donated Starphire® glass is AviProtek® glass, created in conjunction with Vitro partner Walker Glass. AviProtek® glass has an acid-etched pattern on the exterior surface of the glass which maximizes glass visibility to birds and helps prevent collisions. Walker also etched the standard Starphire® glass used on the project.
On October 31, the ‘New’ Wetlands reopened to the delight of both its birds and guests.
“Vitro is honored to once again support the National Aviary in a monumental improvement that will have profound impact on the community and the environment,” said Ricardo Maiz, president, Vitro Architectural Glass. “This recent renovation provides comfort and beauty for the Wetlands’ birds and its visitors, and these modifications guarantee a thriving future habitat.”
Originally built in 1969, the Wetlands is the National Aviary’s largest habitat and is home to diverse species, from familiar species like American Flamingos and Brown Pelicans, to lesser-known birds like Boat-billed Herons and Sunbitterns. The revamped Wetlands exhibit features new species of birds, gorgeous bird-friendly glass, a new walkway, new rockwork, and an interactive coastal tree sculpture.
Vitro’s relationship with the Aviary is longstanding, as the company also donated glass for renovations to the Tropical Rainforest and The Garden Room. This latest collaboration to improve the Wetlands, according to Maiz, will not only enhance the National Aviary’s status as a world-class attraction, but also further its mission to inspire respect for nature through an appreciation of birds.
To learn more about Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass by Vitro Glass or AviProtek® glass by Walker Glass, visit www.vitroglazings.com.