When officials at the College of William and Mary in historic Williamsburg, Va., decided it was time to update a group of dormitories from the1920s through the 1950s, they set their sights on energy efficiency, updated heating, plumbing and electrical systems, and durability.
So when crews upgraded the first of the six dorms, they replaced crumbling, decades-old wood windows with low-maintenance aluminum models.
That’s the only one of those historic buildings that will get aluminum replacement windows.
By the time the college started planning to gut the second dorm—Chandler Hall—its Art and Architectural Review Board had stepped in to insist that the new windows look exactly like the originals, constructed in 1931 with curvy wood frames, true divided light, and a respect for the Colonial architecture of the country’s second-oldest college and the 383-year-old city where it resides.
“The architectural fiber of our campus is very important to us,” Gilbert Stewart, the project manager for the 322-year-old college, says. “The old buildings are part of the Colonial Williamsburg experience.”
So Chandler Hall’s new windows feature molding profiles and sashes identical to the 1931 originals, and the same old-fashioned weight-and-pulley balance system that operated them. But the 2015 versions were crafted from Accoya wood and insulated glass, which allowed for an authentic look while incorporating durability and energy efficiency.