When Mayor Guiliani rehabbed the Times Square neighborhood, the architecturologists from Olde Good Things were fortunate to be able to salvage architectural artifacts from all four corners of Broadway and 42nd Street. Although OGT had been salvaging in New York for years, this was our first opportunity to be a part of something really massive — reclaiming pieces of the past from a landmark like Times Square that sees 26 million visitors from all over the world every year.
One of the reclaimed treasures we brought home from this expedition was a haul of textured glass tile from the former Rialto Theatre. Nicknamed the original “Temple of the Motion Picture” and the “Shrine of Music and the Allied Arts”, the original Rialto opened in 1916 on the corner of Broadway and West 42nd Street. It premiered releases by Paramount Pictures until the building was demolished and replaced by a smaller structure in 1935.
This is the building where the “Howdy Doody Show” was filmed during the 1950s. The TV studio at the theater also saw the filming of talk shows led by Montel Williams and Geraldo Rivera. The structure was always a reflection of the Times Square neighborhood, through good times and bad, before being replaced by the 30-story Reuters building.
It is from this Art Deco style Rialto that OGT rescued the beautiful glass tiles with a textured finish. These classic tiles are 6 in. x 6 in. raised glass squares, priced each, and include the original certificate of authenticity signed by the architecturologist who salvaged the pieces.
These reclaimed glass tiles are an elegant and beautiful souvenir of the legendary Times Square and Art Deco craftsmanship. Create your own Rialto wall of glass tile, or use smaller collections to accentuate a classic decor. The pieces would make a wonderful, stain-free backsplash for the kitchen or bathtub area, or to give a hint of elegance to the swimming pool. Glass tiles are also spectacular for framing a fireplace. When you take home even one, it is like taking home a historical piece of Times Square.