Interesting Windows

IMG_6212, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Wouldn’t solid glass look nicer? What is the benefit of having them all divided up like this?  I still dig the house though…

17 Comment

  • It’s not a benefit, it’s probably more of a period authenticity thing. Back before people could make huge sheets of glass and create huge windows (mid 1800s? not sure) smaller panes was what you got and windows were divided into 9 or more panes.

  • I prefer the smaller pane look for this building because it ties in so nicely with the proportion of the stone work.

  • I think these windows look great- a nice period touch.

  • (oh- and when a baseball comes flying through the window, you only have one small panel to repair instead of the whole thing!)

  • TheNeighbor

    If those are new windows I bet they aren’t even individual pains, but that those are just pieces that fit over the window to make it look like individual panes. I rented in a rowhouse like that and immediately took the frame-work off so I could have nice big clear windows.

  • These windows are significantly cheaper as well.

    What I REALLY like (and only see rarely around DC) are the old curved glass windows. They don’t make them anymore, so it’s only on period buildings that have survived intact. Of course, they usually don’t open.

  • Excuse me, but can we get some reference from everyone claiming these are period windows? Sure, but which period? They look pretty darned colonial to me, as opposed to the period this actual house. I could be wrong, but these windows look very incongruous with the building. Also out of place is the roofing material. My parents have that stuff on their late-70s split level. These homes should have slate, or cheaper modern materials that resemble slate used at the time these homes were built.

  • Oy. This house is on my block. The real question here is not whether the windows look ok (I think they stink, but they look better than the plywood sheets that were covering the windows). The real question about this house is: what would possess someone to decide to convert the entire front yard into a vegetable garden (tomatoes, corn and peppers, from what I could tell) while renovating this house? But, what do I know?

  • I think they look pretty good. If you want “authenticity proof,” you can’t swing a dead cat without finding a house that has its original windows around here. The original style was probably one solid pane on the bottom sash, and divided on the top sash. Most of the Wardman style houses (which this isn’t, but it’s roughly the same period) had four panes on top (versus the 9 or 16 here) but there are many variations.

    They may not be exactly as the original, but they fit the period reasonably well. It looks WAY better to me than no mullions at all, which is what most cheap renovations have.

    I agree with JayToo on the roof, though. Asphalt shingles? Come on, what a cheap out, and for such a small piece of roof. The fake slate stuff isn’t cheap but it’s really a tiny area. Or just plain metal would have looked better.

  • Actually, the benefit is the way it breaks up the light inside the house. It causes less glair and allows you to look outside even when its really bright out without making your eyes feel funny

  • Rachel- Why NOT grow vegetables in your yard? I think that’s a great idea for a city. But I’m kind of an aggie-geek type. I want to see a picture of it!!

    If more people grew their own food, the world would be a better place.

  • JayToo- Federal windows were/are like this… but not over the door- would be an elliptical fanlight there I’m thinking. But maybe there was a buy 12, get one free thing going on or something…

  • You say federal windows were like this, so you’ve joined a small chorus that says the windows are historically appropriate, but my original question still stands: can we get something more than just personal opinion? How about a link or two, anything. I’m not saying the windows decidedly are not in alignment with the architecture of the home, I’m saying it is my personal opinion that they may not be appropriate. And now, we have your personal opinion as well. But does anyone have anything they can reference?

  • Parkwood, a big PS: This is almost assuredly NOT a federal style building. My guess is Romanesque, and the doorway arch looks like there was some Richardsonian version of Romanesque thinknig going on. Federal style would be far more colonial inspired, and yes therefore appropriate for windows with all those panes. But that was my entire point: these windows holler colonial when the building does not. They look entirely out of place. An eliptical fanlight over that romanesque arched door? No way. This isn’t a row house in Old Town Alexandria, that much is for certain.

  • Parkwood Person–Don’t get me wrong, I’m not coming down on being environmental, I think it’s great when people grow their own food. It’s just that the garden was not kept up and what’s left of the plants are all dried out. Frankly, the yard looks bad. I guess my biggest problem with this is the ick factor: when you live on the 1300 block of Fairmont, you don’t want to grow your food, unprotected, inches from the street.

  • What looks ridiculous is Wardman rowhouses in Columbia Heights that replace their windows with divided light windows, which are not accurate for the period, for the style of house.

  • This is an Edwardian Victorian house (Victorian had 3 principle phases: Queen Anne, Edwardian and Gothic Revival). The style-appropriate window treatment would be a single pane, i.e. no mullions. However, the Edwardian period overlapped with the romantic period in literature, which renewed interest in gothic architecture; hence, gothic revival. The window pattern is period-appropriate (gothic revival) but is not appropriate for Edwardian. The reason it may look appropriate on this house, however, is because it has a facade of erusticated stone, which was prevantly used in both the Edwardian and gothic revival styles.

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