Rioting Leaves Charlotte Littered with Shattered Glass

Charlotte, N.C., has been gripped by two days of civil unrest after Keith Scott, a black man, was shot and killed by police on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday night, extensive rioting and looting in the city’s downtown business district led to 44 arrests, and five officers and nine civilians were injured. The disturbances also meant plenty of broken windows for glass companies to clean up, repair or replace.

Many windows at the NASCAR Hall of Fame were broken, according to the Charlotte Observer, though looters didn’t gain access to the exhibition space, which is full of valuable memorabilia.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame is one of the top attractions in the Carolinas and a centerpiece of Charlotte’s revitalized city center. Built at a cost of $160 million, it was designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. SPS Corp. of Apex, N.C., was the contract glazier. According to the company’s website, the structure features 23,000 square feet of Kawneer aluminum curtainwall, 33,000 square feet of SPS dry set aluminum composite panels, and operable glass vents, windows and louvers. It opened in May 2010.

Beyond the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a few dozen other sites downtown were attacked by vandals. Most of the damage was concentrated around the EpiCentre entertainment complex, which has bars, restaurants, nightclubs and a movie theater.

Anthony Yon, a project manager with Sun Glass & Door in Charlotte, told USGlass that his company was pouring most of its resources into the post-riot clean-up.

“Today we have postponed our normal operations, and we’ve got all our crews doing board-ups or cleanups,” he said. “A lot of customers have asked us to come give them quotes. Right now I’ve probably got about 16 field employees at various locations all over Charlotte. We’re working about 13 jobs that have something to do with the rioting.”

Yon said that while there is extensive damage, it’s nothing like 1989’s Hurricane Hugo, which also hit the city in late September and caused millions of dollars in damage. He also said unrest in Charlotte, while rare, is not unheard of.

“With the banks we get protests, and we had the Democratic National Convention four years ago,” he said. “But today, there’s a pretty good amount of broken glass out here.”

Yon said that with current lead times, it might be six to eight weeks before replacements are completed.

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