by Kelly McCoy
Woven into the fabric of New England are brick, granite, marble, and historic clapboard structures that are living legacies to the region’s rich history. They bring iconic character to campuses, town centers, and large cities, communicating the gravitas of their tenants and the importance of the activities they continue to house centuries after they were built. These college libraries, courthouses, churches, and historic meetinghouses are revered for their history, and their restoration and preservation are key to protect the legacy they represent.
Through the commercial services team at A.W. Hastings, the company representing Marvin Windows and Doors in New England and eastern New York, architects and facilities managers throughout the region are leveraging Marvin expertise at the local, regional, and national level to ensure the accurate preservation of historic details in legacy buildings.
South College revitalized for the future
When Kliment Halsband Architects was charged with bringing South College, one of the last remaining original buildings on the University of Massachusetts campus, back to life, they were mindful that they were restoring a legacy dating back to 1887. “It was very important that the character-giving elements of the façade were completely accurate,” explained Kliment Halsband partner David Whitehill, AIA. “The windows were the No. 1 piece of making that happen.”
According to Whitehill, they searched for a window that could match the historic profiles as closely as possible, which led them to wood windows. For maintenance reasons, they wanted the wood windows to be aluminum-clad on the outside and wood on the inside. “Once we looked at the product Marvin Windows and Doors could supply,” Whitehill said, “as well as the support they offered to ensure we would get the windows to really fit in a wide variety of sizes and openings, it was an easy choice to make.”
“We are uniquely positioned to both preserve and modernize legacy buildings,” says Steve Hoyt, who leads the Marvin commercial services team for A.W. Hastings. “Through Marvin, we are able to provide the most accurate historical details available anywhere, while also offering high-performance options, including triple glazing, that provide significant energy savings.”
“We measure every opening in each building being restored,” explained A.W. Hastings architectural representative Ron Conterio, LEED AP. “You should never assume every window in a hundred-year-old building is the same dimension. With Marvin, we can offer custom extrusions that exactly replicate existing details, which is key in historical preservation. We work with the architect and facilities team to ensure their vision and maintenance goals are met. “
Investing in the future of a legacy
“Maintenance budgets throughout institutions and municipalities are always tight,” said Conterio. “So, it’s important to plan wisely when a legacy building receives funding for restoration. When capital campaigns or other funding resources are planned to allow for investment in quality windows and doors, there will be significant savings in maintenance costs down the line. While strategizing cost savings might be prudent on other elements of a restoration project, being short-sighted on this line item negatively impacts the institution down the road.”
“Whether we are involved in the restoration of a church from the 1800s or a contemporary arts center being designed to add a new dimension to a campus, we strive to engineer legacy solutions that will stand the test of time,” said Hoyt. “There’s nothing more upsetting than seeing an iconic building retrofit with vinyl or roll-form aluminum windows that degrade the look and then require replacement in 10 years. Both maintenance and energy savings should be calculated into the ROI on legacy building investments, because doing it right the first time is always more cost effective in the long run.”
Kelly McCoy is the co-owner of The McCoy Group in Ogunquit, Maine.