It would perhaps be a step too far to suggest that Thomas Edison built Fort Myers, Fla. The city surely would have continued to grow even without the help of its most famous early resident. After all, Fort Myers — like so much of the Sunshine State — offers sunny skies, near-perfect temperatures in the winter months, and close proximity to popular beaches.
Nevertheless, Fort Myers certainly gained by the fact that the most prolific American inventor chose to winter there and build a stately home with a laboratory. For nearly half a century, “The Wizard of Menlo Park” would escape the New Jersey winters by traveling to his “Seminal Lodge” estate in Fort Myers.
Today, the creative energy that was a trademark of Edison’s is still prevalent in the Fort Myers area. For example, Fort Myers resident Mark McManus designed a powerboat that set a world record for speed in 2015. Then there’s the nearby community of Babcock Ranch, which will be the first solar-powered town in the world once it’s completed.
Yet another case in point can be found in a private home along Miami Boulevard, on the southern edge of the city. It’s here that local resident Roland De La Torre began building a new house for himself in 2017. It is one of the first homes anywhere in the country to feature the new 100 Series sliding glass door by MI Windows and Doors.
“People have been waiting for the 100 Series door for quite some time,” says Raymond Building Supply General Manager Brian Marten, who sold the windows and doors on the project to De La Torre. “Builders are excited for this new door.”
Available in white, bronze, and clay, the new 100 Series sliding glass door features a nylon roller system and is available in two-, three- and four-track configurations up to 16 feet wide by eight feet tall. In addition, it’s chock full of energy-efficient modifications and safety features while still offering an aesthetic design. First and foremost, the door is available with MI’s StormArmor™ impact-resistant package. Windows and doors with StormArmor can keep wind, debris, and most water out of your home without the need for secondary shutters or plywood.
Particularly valuable in hurricane-prone regions like South Florida, StormArmor products have passed tests at an AAMA-certified testing lab, standing up to rigid requirements for impact-resistance. After being struck at speeds in excess of 35 mph, the weather barrier remained in place with no breaches.
With the 100 Series sliding glass door, MI Windows now offers a full envelope of products with StormArmor protection.
“Previously, some builders who needed impact products would mix and match MI Windows with a different sliding glass door because MI did not have a good impact door option,” Marten says. “Some builders refuse to mix and match, especially because of mixed warranties, so we would lose the entire job. This new door puts MI on a different platform, because now there is a complete house package.”
In addition to the safety features on the 100 Series door, MI’s newest product has a warm-edge spacer system and Cardinal LoE-366 glass. With this combination, the 100 Series door will help keep homes at a comfortable temperature regardless of the season.
“I have been in the construction business for over 20 years and I have heard nothing but good things about MI Windows,” De La Torre says. “I have compared them to other windows in past jobs and the quality was always top-notch. Also, the price is always right.”
De La Torre, who has family in the area, is building the house himself. The window installation took place in August with the hope that he’d be able to host that year’s Thanksgiving dinner. His plan was to show off not just his new home, but also his new — in every sense of the word — sliding glass door.
“I actually waited for this door,” De La Torre says. “I heard good things about it, and it didn’t disappoint.”