Last fall we started working on a project at Haverford College. They were planning on renovating and re-purposing their old Ryan Gymnasium. We were hired to restore all of the existing original windows in the building as well as build a few custom windows to match the original windows exactly. It is now a year later and the project is complete. We are so glad to have been a part of this project and are very proud of our contribution to the project. Let’s take a quick look at what was done.
The building was originally built around 1900 as a gymnasium. On the main floor was the basketball court and main gym floor. A floor above wrapped around the perimeter of the building was a wood running track. In the basement at one point, there was a swimming pool. The pool was at some point filled in and the basement was mostly just locker rooms. Up until the start of this project, surprisingly few changes were made to the gym.
With newer gym facilities elsewhere on campus, the old gym no longer served a purpose. So the college decided to convert it to an arts building. Many changes needed to be made in the process. Fortunately, the folks at Haverford College understand the value of preservation and they were determined to preserve as much of the historic character of the building as possible. One part of that was to restore the old windows in the building. They wanted them to look just like they did when the building first opened. And that we did!
We removed every window in the building and restored them back at our shop. All paint and glazing was removed from the windows and all glass was saved and reused. Most of the windows were large 18 over 18 double hung windows. There also were some massive 38 over 24 double hung windows. The upper sash alone was over 8 feet tall! The windows were a lot of work but they certainly were worth it. Check out the finished product here: Haverford VCAM Window Restoration Gallery
This project also required us to build 7 custom new wood windows to match the existing windows in all respects. Since the project was a LEED certified project, we were required to use FSC certified lumber for the windows, which left us using poplar. We built every part of the window sashes and window jambs and casings in our shop in Bryn Mawr. The window sashes are exact matches of the originals with true through mortise and tenon joints and the exact same muntin profile. They came out great. Take a look at a couple photo galleries of the replicated wood windows here:
This was a really fun project. It is rare to work on a large construction project and have them value the work that we do as much as they did on this project. So I would like to express my gratitude to the guys at Whiting-Turner that were managing this project and all of the smart people at Haverford College that had the foresight to know and trust that our services were worth it. Thank you!