specialties

Fabricators of Traditional Storefronts

Main Street revitalization projects have brought back the traditional storefront.

Click here for a list of traditional storefront fabricators

The revitalization of downtown commercial districts in cities and towns across America has been one of the great success stories of the past decade. Preservation, renovation -- and sometimes re-creation -- of traditional commercial storefront architecture has played a strong part in this revival. Everywhere, the "remuddling" mistakes of the 1950s and 1960s are being removed and the original Victorian and early 20th century storefronts restored or re-created.

Experience has shown that re-establishing the original look and feel of these older commercial districts creates a unique sense of place that differentiates the area from the contemporary, one-size-fits-all commercial architecture of malls across America. High-end shoppers have demonstrated a distinct preference for commercial districts that possess a unique historical and architectural identity.

In addition, the New Urbanism and anti-sprawl movements have been promoting the idea of building or restoring walkable shopping districts. More is at stake than just architectural nostalgia; reviving walkable shopping on the Main Streets of cities and towns lessens the use of automobiles -- a factor that is sure to gain importance as gasoline remains a costly and not very eco-friendly product.

Re-creation of traditional commercial storefronts involves issues of both design and materials. Depending on the context and history of the district, the project may involve terra cotta (or replicas in GFRC or FRP), Carrara and prismatic glass, or cast metals such as cast iron, bronze or aluminum, as well as wood. The companies in this list of storefront suppliers provide an up-to-date cross-section of suppliers and fabricators experienced with creating a wide range of traditional storefronts -- both new and restored.

Click here for a list of traditional storefront fabricators