Traverse City Record-Eagle



Local historian Richard Fidler stands near a window made of prismatic glass tiles above the front arched window in the Federico's Design Jewelers building, which once housed a bank. . Prismatic glass was used at the front of downtown stores and businesses in the late 1890s to about 1910. The inner surfaces of the tiles have deep, coarse saw-tooth ridges, or prisms, that bring light from a sunny street into the dark interior of the buildings. At a time when incandescent lights were ineffective and expensive, prismatic glass was a "green" way to illuminate a building, Fidler said.