Stan Hywet Window Restoration - Akron, Ohio

There are 647 historic window sashes on the property at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. The Manor House alone has over 21,400 panes of individual glass. All of the windows in the Manor House are leaded and range from simple diamond and rectangle patterns some containing painted medallions to highly painted and stained heraldic motifs with more complex geometric designs.  The majority of the windows are set in steel sashes, some of which are operable, although there are also some windows set in wooden frames and held with stops. 

With the exception of the bathroom door in the gardener’s cottage which is leaded, all of the windows in the Stable, Carriage House, Gardener’s Cottage and Gate House were originally constructed with zinc.  Installation of the zinc windows was done with a unique edge profile which was set into the rabbet from the exterior with it’s flange overlapping the the edge of the rabbet.  Nails were then driven through the zing to attach the panel to the frame.

In 2008 Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens contracted the Whitney Stained Glass Studio to conduct an assessment of all the windows and glass doors in every building on the Stan Hywet property. This in-depth study of the windows was then prioritized based on window condition and public visibility and split into four phases to be completed over several years. The first of the high priority windows were completed in 2014/2015 and the second phase of window is currently being restored.

For the restoration of the stained glass windows, Whitney Stained Glass Studio follows the guidelines set forth by the Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) as well as the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Historic Preservation, including the Technical Preservation Services’ Preservation Brief: The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stained and Leaded Glass (Brief 33), as provided by the National Park Service, Division of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Original windows are removed from the buildings and brought back to the studio for repair. The window openings are securely boarded up while the windows are out for restoration. Before any glass cleaning is done on painted glass, the cleaning method is tested to make sure that there is no harm to the paint in any way.

Broken or cracked pieces of glass are either repaired with the copper foil technique, or replaced with glass that best matches the original in color texture and density. Some panels are completely releaded.  The windows are carefully disassembled and laid out on rubbings according to their design.  They are then reassembled with new lead came that matches the visual profile of the original lead.  The lead will be according to the specifications in the Appendix - Lead Cames section. Once releaded, the windows are cemented, cleaned and new copper tie-wires are soldered to the window.  The panels are then allowed to cure for a minimum of two weeks prior to installation to allow the cement to set up. The bars are sanded and painted with a rust inhibitive paint.

The windows will then be installed into their frames, the moulding is screwed in and the tie-wires are tied to the bars.  The interior molding will be finish painted as part of the steel frame reconditioning.

In addition to the window restoration, many of the original hardware pieces have to be replaced. A separate study was completed of the window hardware and each window was assessed and noted as to which pieces were broken or missing completely. These replacement pieces are being reproduced from the originals by the Ball & Ball company out of Exton, Pennsylvania. 

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Deflected windows in Irene's bedroom before restoration
Close up of window condition before restoration
Painting the window frames with rust-inhibitive paint
Window laid out with rubbing of the design
Laying out the new lead
Soldering the lead joints
Newly restored window ready for transport back to Stan Hywet
Reinstalling the windows
Fully restored windows in Irene's bedroom