BSC Custom's glass division recently completed a major project that required more than 300 etched glass signs for a landmark heritage building in Washington, D.C.
The Daniel A. D'Aniello Building
The signage was installed in the new home of the American Enterprise Institute at 1789 Massachussetts Avenue. It's located in Dupont Circle, which is a famous neighborhood and historic district in northwest Washington, home to many embassies. The AEI was founded in 1938 and is a leading conservative public policy think tank.
In 2016 the AEI moved into the historic Daniel A. D'Aniello Building. The building dates back to 1917 and in 1976 it was declared a National Historic Landmark. During the renovations, the AEI's architects retained many of the building's original heritage features. To match the elegant feel of the Beaux Arts architecture, it was decided that etched glass signage would be used for the interior wayfinding and ADA signage.
Gelberg Signs of Washington, D.C. contracted BSC Custom for the architectural etched glass signs, and they installed all of the interior glass signage we created.
Over 300 glass signs were installed in the building, including ADA and donor signs. The smallest sign was just 2-1/2" by 3", and the largest was approximately 15" x 23".
If you're technically inclined, the glass thickness for these signs ranged from 3/16" to 3/8", and the type of glass used was low-iron annealed glass with flat polished edges. The raised tactile text, numbers, and braille symbols have a depth of 1/32". Engraving was 1/16" deep.
Architectural etched glass signage is created through an exceptionally precise sandblasting process. The result is 3D letters and designs that are raised above the surface of the glass. The appearance is classic and elegant, and highly sought after by architects and interior designers.
What is ADA signage?
The Americans with Disabilities act (ADA) requires that many buildings have signage that is accessible by visitors with low-vision or those that are blind. The ADA requirements for interior signage are numerous, but one common requirement is the inclusion of tactile braille symbols. Glass signage is ideal for this purpose as it is very durable and resists wear. It's also very pleasant to the touch. Our BSC Custom glass sign specialist is Gary Scherer, who has many years of experience producing ADA compliant signage.
Samples of Signs Installed in the AEI Building
Here are some of the glass signs we made for the project. The architects asked for a wide variety of signs on this project, and they specified over 10 different paint colors for the back side of the signs, most often to complement the wall colors.
It's often asked how we manage to ship fragile glass signs without breakage. Our customer base is national, and we successfully ship glass signs all over the country, as well as internationally. For smaller signs we carefully pack the glass signs in heavy duty boxes using foam, craft paper, and packing peanuts. Larger glass signs are crated with thick foam around the edges and foam between each piece. Crated projects are then secured on pallets so the glass always stands on edge during shipment — never flat! This method ensures that problems with breakage are extremely rare.
About BSC Custom's Glass Division
The glass division of BSC Custom was established in the fall of 2015. We're located in Broomfield, Colorado, along the Denver-Boulder corridor. We specialize in architectural etched glass signs, but we're able to provide a wide variety of glass architectural elements. With our experience in ADA compliant signage, we can handle large interior wayfinding projects that involve the production of hundreds of individual glass signs. We also have extensive experience with glass donor walls, which are often installed in universities, hospitals, and other large institutions. Glass is often used as an architectural element, such as glass partitions or accents in offices. Designs, patterns, or frosted treatments can be added to glass elements, along with custom paint or custom glass colors.
BSC Custom is a division of BSC Signs, one of Colorado's leading full-service sign companies. Together we can provide one-stop service for just about any sign project. BSC Custom also designs and fabricates architectural elements and custom lightng. We're UL Listed and able to handle any kind of special fabrication project.
If you have any questions about glass signage, feel free to give us a call at 303-464-0644. If you're in Colorado we can arrange for a site visit to show you our production faciliity and glass sign samples. Please have a look at the Architectural Etched Glass section of our website for more examples, and subscribe to our email newsletter for the latest in signage and visual branding from BSC Signs and BSC Custom.