Original front door.
Windows, Sashes and Doors, Oh My!
by Ginger Graham
In 2013, the State Historical Fund and History Colorado received a grant to evaluate the condition and historic features of our Feeders Supply building. Their 90-page report traces the building’s history from construction in 1910 until recent times, including details of a new $110 roof in 1929 and the addition of stucco to the exterior in 1944. The building’s stepped parapets, double 9-lite store front windows, steep metal roof and white stucco finish were all found to be “character defining features” within the report. In other words, these are features the building is known for and must be preserved.
There is no doubt this is a visually unique building — that’s one of the reasons I fell in love with it. The challenge is to preserve it while making amendments so that we can adapt the building to a new use.
As part of our design approval from the Landmark Preservation Commission, we committed to try to save as many windows and doors (including their frames) as possible. You can imagine that 100+ years of weather and sun have done a lot of damage to the wood frames. And though only seven of the original (1910) glass windows were still in the building, most of the glass is still quite old. As construction heated up, we needed to pull all the windows and doors to protect them from further damage and prepare them for restoration.
North side of the building. Weather-rotted window sill
We engaged Colorado Sash and Windows, a local Fort Collins business known for their ability to work with historic material, to repair the damage. They did a full review of every window and door in the building and presented a plan to the local historic staff explaining the plan to salvage and reuse as much of the original material as possible.
Original front door knob. Door damage needing repair. This original sliding door will be restored and rehung in the area that will be our Teaching Kitchen. Removing a door. Someone tasked with sealing the openings had a sense of humor… All doors and windows boarded up (and Jed’s tail in the foreground).
When the doors and windows are re-installed, the distinctive features of the building will be ready for the next 100 years!