Pendleton history: Reflections on windows

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Helen Reske

By Sandi Butler and Helen Reske | For The Times-Post

Pendleton’s architecture is the reason we are in the National Register of Historic Places.
We are a unique community. Our buildings have distinctive characters reflecting former days of Pendleton.
Many of these elements have been retained through the years with property owners fighting the urge to remove, update or remodel.
A few property owners have changed their building’s distinctive character, which has removed their property from our count of buildings that supports our National Register.
When you look at a building, what stands out the most?
For some, it is the windows. They are the visual of the building. Inside and out, windows play an important part to the character of our buildings.
Though windows function to help with ventilation or sunlight, they are an important element to the façade of the building.
Window style — whether long, short, wide or small — provides old buildings with their unique character.
If you live in an old building and are wanting to improve your windows, please keep in mind “restoration,” not “remodeling.”
To retain your building’s unique distinctive character, replace your windows with the same size.
Buildings where the window size has been reduced, you will see remnants of what was there before. Outer trim that framed the original window is still in place with a wood insert covering the space to the smaller window. This action alters the façade of the building.
For the proud owners of a historic home, there are options to help keep the appropriate shape and size of the original window.
Eric Reske (the late husband of one of the co-authors of this column) experimented with different methods to restore the windows of their 1904 Queen Anne house.
Here are some suggestions learned from those efforts.
Homeowners or their carpenters can find online what is needed to restore wood windows and for other repairs.
They can also search for companies that make custom-size windows.
Rotten wood can be hardened with resin wood-hardener.
After hardening, wood filler can be applied to those areas. Follow product directions about mixing, drying time, sanding, painting and caulking.
There may be a question about the cold air coming in from window areas. Generally, it comes in through the cavities behind the inside woodwork. Cavities are channels for the weights that allow(ed) the sashes to be lifted and lowered.
To begin solving cold air issues, the inside woodwork can be temporarily removed. Then, the cavities can be lined with an aluminum product, such as Reflectix. Another choice would be Bubble Wrap. Tightly tuck the product to the inner surface, especially the corners, then tape to keep it from pulling away.
If the cavities are lined with aluminum or plastic, you will be pleased to find that cold or hot air no longer seeps into the room.
Historic Fall Creek- Pendleton Settlement

Sandi Butler and Helen Reske are cofounders of Historic Fall Creek, Pendleton Settlement Inc., a historical preservation group focused on preserving historic buildings and culture in the area.

Sandi Butler