Thinking of Replacing Your Wood Windows?

If you live in a historic home, preservationists urge you to think about restoration and repair before razing. Here are some issues to consider:

• More heat is lost through the roof and insulated walls than windows.

• Windows need routine maintenance, including resealing and caulking, to be energy efficient.

• Storm windows installed on the exterior of existing windows or window inserts attached to the interior side can reduce heat loss.

• A thin reflective covering called “low-E film” can be applied to single-pane glass to reduce heat loss.

• If you’re trying to be “green,” remember that vinyl and aluminum windows take more resources, toxins and energy to produce than restoring old windows.

• Retaining the original windows in a historic home can be an advantage when selling the home to buyers who value authenticity.

• If you refinish windows yourself, beware of the possibility of lead in the paint and asbestos in the glazing putty. Kits are available in home-improvement stores to test for lead. If you don’t test, assume there are toxins and wear protective masks, a respirator, gloves and other gear.

• Double- or single-hung windows are sometimes replaced because they no longer open. The problem often stems from layers of paint on the pulley system ropes. Instead of discarding the entire window, replace the ropes. When painting, cover the ropes with masking tape or paper.

• Different kinds of glass are used to replace historic or antique window panes. Glass with waves, bubbles and other imperfections reminiscent of antique glass is available, but can be costly, particularly if it’s mouth-blown. Sometimes, homeowners opt for contemporary, double-paned glass.

For more information on restoring, replicating or replacing historic windows:

• Go to www. and search for “historic window repair.”

• Go to www. and search for “historic wood window tip sheet.”

• See a video of historic window restoration by EcoWoodworks at http:// The custom carpentry firm is at 3016 Sapp Road, Tumwater, or at 360-943-3808.

Sources: City of Olympia Historic Preservation program, Grace Morrisson of Bear Wood Windows Inc.

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National Trust for Historic Preservation 2010 Conference

The National Trust for Historic Preservation will hold its annual conference in Austin, TX. For info go to The conference will be also offered for Virtual Attendees through live video, Twitter and blog posts.

Join hundreds of grassroots volunteers, skilled professionals, and preservation experts exploring preservation today — in urban and rural settings across the United States. Both conventional and the controversial issues that arise every day will be explored, and the most effective tools and practices for fostering preservation in any community will be shared.

Conference features include:

  • Daily general sessions complemented by in-depth breakouts permitting you to focus on your interests
  • Abundant interactive education sessions with lively audience participation
  • Field sessions highlighting Austin, the Texas Hill Country, and San Antonio
  • More learning units offering continuing education credits from AIA (HSW, SD, and general), APA (ethics, law, and general), and USGBC
  • A listing of approved sessions will be online once final, and in the final program distributed at the conference
  • Two days of Exhibit Hall, culminating in the Preservation Action Reception and Auction on Friday afternoon
  • “Nosh & Network” breaks in the Exhibit Hall
  • Preservation Bookstore
  • Mad About Mod Party on Friday night, including the live Preservation Action Auction

Historic Preservation Quote – Richard Moe

“When you strip away the rhetoric, preservation is simply having the good sense to hold on to things that are well designed, that link us with our past in a meaningful way, and that have plenty of good use left in them.” – Richard Moe, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Who is Creating Jobs in Florida?

A recent post on the National Trust for Historic Preservation website is entitled “Who is Creating Jobs in America?” Directed at the proposed elimination of the Save America’s Treasures Grant fund, the article provides a state by state breakdown of how the fund compares in job creation to the stimulus plan. Of great interest are the numbers for Florida that show that the grant fund creates jobs for a fraction of the cost:
  • $ From Stimulus Plan: $9,040,756,932
  • Jobs From Stimulus Plan: 34,887
  • $/Job: $259,144
  • $ From Save America’s Treasures (SAT): $5,084,318
  • Matching Funds: $7,481,293
  • Total Project Cost: $12,565,611
  • Jobs From SAT: 270
  • SAT $/Job: $18,815
To see the whole article and the parameters used to generate the costs, see



Historic Preservation is “the weakest kid on the block”

A thought-provoking post by historic preservation economist Donovan Rypkema entitled, appropriately, “A Time For Reflection” discusses the proposed funding cuts to two federal preservation funding programs: Save America’s Treasures (SAT) and Preserve America. His post calls for preservationists to rethink the way we’ve been presenting our case for preservation, since clearly the positive impacts (economic redevelopment, jobs creation, sustainable development, downtown revitalization, etc.) have not become widely known enough to Americans and to our elected officials. Otherwise they would not be labeled as programs whose “benefits are unclear” and easy targets for cutting, particularly in an era where jobs creation is so important. It is critical that we explain how preservation fits in to the revitalization of businesses and communities to elected officials in order to eliminate these types of short-sighted cuts seen as “easy” to pacify those who complain about federal spending.

According to the Rypeka post: This announcement had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the federal deficit. The rounding errors in the budgeting process are ten times greater than the annual amount spent on these two programs combined. Here’s the analogy. You have a household income of $80,000 per year, but decide “We need to cut back.” So what do you do? Eliminate $0.04 from your monthly expenditures. That’s right…four cents a month of an $80,000 a year income is the equivalent of these cuts.”

The National Trust for Historic Preservation discusses some of the reasons the SAT program is effective including: Save America’s Treasures stands out as a model of efficiency and effective spending. You see, every grant recipient under this program is required to find a dollar-for-dollar, non-federal match. To date, Save America’s Treasures at the National Trust has raised almost $57 million in non-federal and private matching funds. As a result, Save America’s Treasures has been enormously successful in leveraging private-sector financing and creating  productive and sustained partnerships with large corporations, foundations, and individuals that provide matching contributions.”

Historic Preservation Advocacy Week is the first week of March. While you may not be able to go to Washington to speak to your representative, it is a good time to visit local officials, or write letters and make phone calls to explain why you historic preservation is important to your community and to your country, both in terms of economic sense and quality of life. For some talking points, see these reports by Preservation Action, or contact TPI. Or submit the online form regarding this issue on the National Trust for Historic Preservation website.