Pushback from Historic Replacement Market?

Christina Lewellen
May 26, 2010
THE TALK... | Aesthetics & Style

One of our Outside View links this week is a USA Today blog on a campaign against replacing windows in historic buildings. Some preservationists argue that old buildings simply should not have new windows. They advocate window repair or using storm windows rather than window replacement.

I have to admit, I was a little surprised. Sure I can see why preservationists might not want to touch Monticello or Mount Vernon. But for many older buildings, manufacturers can replicate the look of old windows pretty accurately.  I even wrote a feature article about this niche a few years back.

So after reading the USA Today blog, I'm left wondering if appearance is really that important to historic enthusiasts that comfort and energy efficiency carry no weight.  With all the options manufacturers now offer to produce historically-accurate windows, can we not have both? 

Please share with me what you're seeing in the historic and older building market. Are the views expressed in the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the "National Window Campaign" common?  Should old windows be saved? Are we too quick to replace? Or do old buildings need today's windows to keep functioning? Let's talk....

For most older buildings,
New products can provide authenticity as well as modern functionality and efficiency.
Upgrading existing windows is the best option.

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Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at clewellen@glass.org.


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