Preservation Magazine, Spring 2016

Skill Set: Windows of Opportunity

photo by: Bagala Window Works

Clay Steele (left) and Philip Walter of WPA member Bagala Window Works in Westbrook, Maine.

People fall in love with historical houses for many reasons, and one of the most common is the windows: the wavy glass, the high-quality wood frames, the idiosyncratic shapes. But it’s not always easy to find someone who knows how to repair and restore them. That’s where the Window Preservation Alliance (WPA) comes in. The year-old group forms a network of professional window restorers from all over the United States and parts of Canada in the hopes of helping homeowners who want to preserve their old windows. We spoke with Alison Hardy, owner of Window Woman of New England in Amesbury, Massachusetts, and the WPA’s president.

Dossier

  • Name: Window Preservation Alliance
  • Web address: windowpreservationalliance.org
  • Established: 2015
  • Members: 100+ window restorers and supporters in the United States and Canada
  • Mission: Connect the owners of historical houses with local window restoration professionals

Glossary

Window diagram adapted from a drawing by Jonathan Poore

Top Three

  • Dream for the future:
    To grow the window restoration community. “We still do not have nearly enough window restorers in the U.S. If there were one in every county, there would be around 3,000. I think there are around 500 now. It’s very hard
    to find them.”
  • Secrets of the trade:
    “Our members in Florida, Texas, and California are all concerned about keeping heat out. We’re concerned about keeping heat in. In Florida they work with cypress, which we don’t have here in New England. Our needs and materials are different.”
  • Social event of the year:
    Glaze-A-Palooza at the WPA’s inaugural meeting, held in February in Tampa. “It’s a completely geeky thing. We get very competitive. It’s a throwdown-showdown of our glazing skills, with judges.”

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for Midcentury Modernism, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.

@mdrueding

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