The awesome team is back at the Bassett House looking for clues, only this week, Jeff Ediger, from Oak Brothers is with us. Today, it’s about windows.
First, we had to figure out what is original and what is not.
Sometimes that was easy. These windows are clearly not original.
And Neither is this front door.
But sometimes it was a little more difficult. We thought the front windows were not original until Joel Rafferty (Michael Abraham Architecture)found the image below showing only the leaded glass transoms above had been replaced.
Next we had to decide which windows could reasonably be restored, and which windows would have to be reproduced.
Many had been damaged from fire, water and over 100 years of use. To repair them, Jeff will have to remove them, strip all paint, reapply the weather stripping, adjust and/or replace the inner hardware (the old fashioned pulley and chain system) and then reinstall.
And then there’s the old glass. It’s beautiful, it’s curvy and it’s not insulated. To be energy efficient, and for our home owners to be to be able to sit in front of a window without a heavy sweater, we will have to replace the single pane glass with 1/2 inch thick insulated glass. We could add storm windows for insulation, but they have to be taken down seasonally. Storms are a pain. They are heavy and they are not air tight (see existing windows on this previous post)For this home, we are replacing the old glass but keeping the old sashes to maintain the authentic feel.
Now comes the fun part. See the stained glass windows in the historical picture above? Shockingly, they were boarded up during the 1942 addition.
In 2002, the bottom sections were replaced with grids of leaded glass depicting roses (see interior image above). A nice nod to the home’s original owner, Orland P bassett, who cultivated the American Beauty rose, but hardly authentic.
During the fire abatement, Dave Post discovered the original transoms buried under wood panels, and sent them to Jeff Ediger’s workshop for safe keeping and possible restoration.
Jeff’s workshop if full of cool projects he’s working on, but we tried to stay focused on the Bassett House windows.
The first two transoms were in pretty good shape. Jeff is confident they can be restored.
The third, not so much.
Many of the pieces were broken and others had been damaged by the heat of the fire, and could not be repaired.
Because methods and materials used to make stained glass has changed drastically over the past 100 years, matching the colors of the existing windows to repair the third transom will be costly, and after months of waiting for samples, there’s no guarantee of a good color match. The third transom is beyond repair. We can reproduce it, but the colors will not perfectly match the other transoms. How far off will they be? Hard to say. No guarantees. And of course the original lower windows are long gone. So that leaves us with either replicating the old stained glass windows, fixing and reinstalling the newer leaded glass windows or putting in clear glass. Thankfully, the decision is not mine to make….