ChronoPoints | Cocoa Beach Glass Bank2-draft
history, oral history, lidar, laser scanning, point cloud, 3d model, maya, unity 3d, virtual, virtual reality, virtual environment, augmented reality, augmented environments, 3d mesh, vr, ar, hololens, microsoft hololens, archeology, research, documenting history, micro oral history, space, space age, apollo, project apollo, gemini, project gemini, mercury, project mercury, cape canaveral, cocoa beach, cape kennedy, kennedy space center, saturn v, atlas, mercury-atlas, redstone, mercury redstone, mid century, mid century modern, googie, digital preservation, 3d printing, sarasota school of architecture, htc vive
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Cocoa Beach Glass Bank2-draft

This page serves as a repository for all materials pertaining to the Glass Bank – historical background, laser scanning, and 3D printing. Please click one of the headers below.  If you have any images or reflections of the Glass Bank please contact us.

Note the arches that encase the viewing skywalk prior to the extension of the 4th-floor walls in 1965


Perhaps no community’s relationship with the space program resonates deeper than that of Cocoa Beach, Florida. Conveniently located just south of Cape Canaveral, it was home to many of the engineers and technicians who enabled humanity to explore the lunar surface. The First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Cocoa – Cocoa Beach Branch building was an outstanding representation of the region’s architectural link to the Space-Age and to the optimism of the early 1960s. Known to residents as the “Glass Bank,” the First Federal Savings & Loan Association building was designed by noted Sarasota School Architect Reginald C. Knight. Opening in 1962, this Mid-Century Modern structure of glass, steel and concrete stood out on the barrier island community of Cocoa Beach both because of its height and because of its elegant Space-Age design.

With a construction cost exceeding $750,000 ($6.1 million in today’s  dollars), the Glass Bank would have been an impressive structure for a larger city like Ft. Lauderdale, but in a community the 1960 US Census revealed had yet to surpass 3,500 it demonstrated how business believed Cocoa Beach would continue to grow and thrive with each step to the Moon.  The bank’s 4.5 floors of 20,000 sq ft offered mixed use commercial space – the savings and loan on the ground floor, mezzanine, 2 floors of office space and a restaurant on the top floor. While the Sky Room Restaurant would only survive one year, it was supplanted by Ramon’s Rainbow Room. The Rainbow Room offered fine dining and expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean, along with performances by many of the era’s Las Vegas headliners. To accommodate a need for additional seating, in 1965 the Rainbow Room would initiate a significant modification to the building by extending the restaurant’s  walls to the edge of the white arches that had provided patrons an opportunity to watch Cape launches from an observation skywalk that encircled the fourth floor. Citizens made the mezzanine level a community focal point, where groups ranging from scouting to weight loss met free of charge. Because of its height and distinctive design, the building became a physical navigation point for the community – directions were given in terms of being north or south of the Glass Bank. During the first decade of operation, it was not uncommon for tourists to photograph the Glass Bank and request a tour.


The significant reduction of NASA’s budget following the successful completion of Project Apollo’s initial lunar landing in 1969 would impact businesses throughout Brevard County, including Cocoa Beach.  Vacancies began to appear on the Glass Bank’s second and third-floor offices which had maintained full occupancy during the building’s first decade of operation. Ramon’s Rainbow Room would close in 1970 and was replaced by Marby’s Rainbow Room who would close in 1972 and end restaurant operations in the Glass Bank. Eventually, tourism and retirees replaced the missile and space industry and with it changed the commercial space needs of the city. This was reflected in the structure’s major modifications in the 1980s, as the fourth floor upscale restaurant space gave way to a law firm and aerospace office space was ultimately transformed into a fitness center. In an attempt to remedy some of its glass facade leakage issues, the exterior of the structure sported significantly less glass than it did in the 1960s and attorney Frank Wolfe would top the structure with a two-story penthouse condominium.  In 2004, hurricanes significantly damaged the building resulting in the loss of all commercial occupants and bring a decade of structural decay. In spite of this, its demolition in 2015 would demonstrate the former significance of the Glass Bank to the community as crowds gathered to view its destruction and share stories of its glory years.


Notable Individuals

Images of those involved in the development, construction, and operation of Glass Bank during the 1960s.

First Federal Savings & Loan of Cocoa - Cocoa Beach

Images pertaining to the First Federal Savings & Loan of Cocoa - Cocoa Beach branch specifically and general external images.

Ramon's Rainbow Room

Sitting atop the Glass Bank, Ramon's Rainbow offered upscale dining with spectacular ocean views.

Post 1972 Glass Bank Images

Exterior views of the Glass Bank from its second decade of operation to its demolition.


The ChronoPoints team conducted an extensive documentation of the Glass Bank's demolition in January 2015.  Here is a sample of the images.

Glass Bank Scanning

Representations of the Glass Bank laser scan capture

Laser Scanning

Just prior to its demolition in January 2015, the ChronoPoints team conducted a laser scan of the Glass Bank exterior for digital preservation. We then utilized the highly accurate laser scan point cloud data acquired to assist in the development of a 3D model of the structure’s exterior as it appeared in early 1964. Historic images, documents, and oral histories enabled our team to model the interior of the First Federal Saving & Loan lobby and the Ramon’s Rainbow Room dining area.  We are especially interested in interior images of the offices, Ramon’s Rainbow Room, all phases of construction and nearby buildings. If you worked in the Glass Bank or visited it during its initial ten years of operation we would like to conduct a brief oral history with you. Please join us in completing our recreation of this Space-Age architectural wonder.

Virtual Exploration

To enable virtual exploration of the Glass Bank and immediate surroundings, the model was placed into the Unity engine.     The A preliminary 360 virtual reality immersion experience was developed for the HTC Vive that returns you to the 1964 Glass Bank.

Augmented Reality

Upon receiving two Microsoft HoloLens units during Microsoft’s first HoloLens Academic Research Award competition, we developed an experience that enables users to explore the Glass Bank through Augmented Reality.  Here, the Glass Bank can be superimposed over real world objects. Imagine there was a physical model of the Glass Bank on a table, you could walk around it and examine it from all perspectives, this can be accomplished virtually with an Augmented Reality unit like the HoloLens.

3D Printing

We developed a 3D physical representation of the Glass Bank with a partnering lab. PD3D, at IST. The model was printed on the XXX printer.

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