Glaziers Aid in Recovery
from Marathon Bombing
The nation held its breath in the four days following the April 15 explosion of two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, while local businesses, including glass shops, locked their doors until suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been killed and taken into police custody, respectively. Hub Glass based in nearby Somerville, Mass., was one of the first businesses allowed to enter the Boylston Street area to board up (and later replace the glass) at one of the buildings affected in the blast near Marathon Sports. (Company officials declined to identify the specific building due to privacy concerns for the owners.)
“We got the phone call that afternoon to be on standby to get in and board up the building,” says Hub vice president Richard Carver.
“It was very eerie to be there that night,” says Randy Ibbitson, general manager for Hub. “We had seven to eight guys there starting at 6 at night and they worked there 13 hours straight just to get the five floors boarded up.”
The glass was broken on five floors of the building—23 pieces total. As for the type of glass installed, Ibbitson says the company is replacing the glass with the same type of glass that had been installed previously. The glass is being supplied by Sigco Inc. in Westbrook, Maine, and Solar Seal Co. in Easton, Mass.
“We went back to what was there—some of it was tempered, some of it was annealed,” he says.
The building also has a bump-out with a slight inverted slope with a laminated unit that was replaced, according to Ibbitson.
“The bomb blew right through it,” he adds.
“I’m glad we were able to help them out,” says Carver.
Glass shops in the area also felt the sting of the city’s shutdown. Prime Glass & Mirror in Watertown, Mass., was only three blocks away from the site where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured in a police shootout, and was one of the many local businesses shut down during the impact. More than a month after the tragedy, the shop was close to getting back on schedule, reports manager Steve Logan. “We’re still recovering,” Logan says, adding that the only impact on the job was to scheduling, and not to employees.
As Logan explains it, “We were shut down for a whole day, so we pushed [scheduled jobs] back a day, and then every day after you have to bump jobs forward and forward, and so we’re still making up for lost time.”
Logan equated the delay to what the shop goes through regularly for major snowstorms, but noted that customers were extremely understanding of the inconvenience.
“Everyone was very sympathetic toward the issue. It was blasted all over the news so they knew exactly what was going on,” Logan says.
On the other hand, a representative of Sam’s Glass Inc. in Boston, one of the only glass shops close to the Boylston Street site where the marathon ended, said they felt minimal impact in the days following the tragedy. And a representative of New Angle Glass Co. in Watertown, Mass., commented only that rescheduling jobs posed no problem for the company, saying, “There was a couple [to reschedule] but, honestly, not many.”
—Megan Headley and Penny Stacey
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