Florida, USA - Schiller Salvage was set to do some reclamation work in a 1890's Tampa factory. To our discovery, peering from behind was a large door being used for some old shelving unit. There was glass that seemed to have etched lettering. Of course this peeked our interest and we started to dismantle the shelving unit. What appeared was a door that wasn't much to look at but had the name, "The Glass Lounge" etched onto it. So we carefully removed the treasured artifact and transferred it to our shop to do some research on the name.
We were able to talk with the owners of the building from which we obtained the door, they told us that it was acquired by their father in the late 50's. Their original store location was on Franklin St. and across from the store was the bar The Glass Lounge. Their father said it was a bustling place in its hay day, he would frequently make change for patrons of the bar, most being service members from Drew Field. He remembered talking once with a soldier who said he was a pilot on The Reluctant Dragon and that they were due to fly to Europe the next week.
The 1940's were a turbulent time for the whole world, if you weren't drafted for military service you volunteered, and if you didn't serve you helped in any way towards the war effort. Tampa Florida was no exception, Drew Field, currently Tampa International Airport, was used for training fighter and bomber pilots before they were deployed to european theater.
With Drew Field in full operation Tampa would be bustling with pilots and their crews. When they weren't training and needed some RR they would head downtown to Franklin St. the city's nightlife strip. One of these hotspots was The Glass Lounge, a quaint but suitable establishment for servicemen looking for a good time on the town. The lounge would be visited by the ever famous bomber crew of the B-17 " The Reluctant Dragon ", one of the only B-17's to still exist and also be featured in the movie 12 O'clock High.
Discovering and saving items like this door from being completely lost to time is what we love about our business. This door is how we relive that history and continue to share it with future generations.
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Kindly authored for SalvoNEWS by Steve Kroslak of Schillers
Schiller's Architectural Design and Salvage
Story Type: Feature
Date Modified: March 02, 2017, 07:10 PM