Historic Window Rehab Program Aims to Improve Local Buildings

| April 12, 2019

OIL CITY, Pa. – The Oil City Main Street Program and Oil Region Alliance are co-hosting a Historic Window Rehab Workshop on Saturday, April 13.

The program will be held on from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Exhibition Room on the first floor of the National Transit Building Annex at 210 Seneca Street, Oil City.

The workshop is geared to building owners wanting to learn how to extend the lives of their older wood windows.

Wood windows are often character-defining features of older homes and commercial buildings. Repairing these windows as an alternative to installing replacements can be less costly, improve the energy efficiency of the windows, and preserve the historic character of the building. Attendees will have the opportunity to try their hands at some of the techniques discussed during the workshop.

According to Jenn Burden, Historian-Educator at the Oil Region Alliance, the workshop is intended to help people preserve the historic properties of local buildings.

“Typically with windows, people think you have to replace them, but we want to show that there are other options, and one of them is to rehab the windows,” Burden told exploreVenango.com.

“After rehab, wood windows can be almost as energy efficient as vinyl, but you have to know how to do it to make them work that well.”

Burden noted that this workshop will be the Oil Region Alliance’s first attempt to get a message of this kind out to the local population.

“We would like to continue offering programs like this in the future, maybe looking at other topics like roofs. Slate roofs are so expensive to replace,” she noted.

“Even looking at general woodwork in houses, sometimes some has been painted, and people would like to take it back to that wood finish, so we’re looking at workshops like that.”

Workshop presenters Haley Roberts and Regis Will from Pittsburgh have several years of historic building material rehabilitation experience. Roberts completed an intensive 10-day wood window workshop in Florida, received a certificate in window restoration, and worked on several large restoration projects as an employee of a window restoration company in Pittsburgh.

Will has been a woodworker, tinkerer, and maker for more 20 years. Over the last five years, Will has begun sharing his knowledge and love of restoration with others through the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation’s education and outreach wing, the Preservation Resource Center. Through PHLF he continues to provide hands-on woodworking, preservation, and restoration workshops.

According to Burden, the Oil Region Alliance gets a number of visitors seeking tours of the grand historic homes in the area each year.

“Yes, they can just drive by but they want more background information on why we have these homes in the area, who lived there, who built them, were they working for Standard Oil or another company. It’s definitely a tourism issue,” Burden said.

“The grand homes draw attention, and revamping these houses helps the people living here but also helps with tourism by allowing people to see the grandeur of the homes, even from the exterior while driving through. The more we can update the exteriors, keep the stained glass and leaded glass windows and maintain the architecture, the better.”

There is no fee to attend the workshop, but RSVPs are appreciated to info@oilregion.org. Please contact Jenn Burden at jburden@oilregion.org or 814-677-3152 x 116 for more information.

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