Changing windows in a historic building requires a deep understanding of historic construction techniques and an eye for design detail accuracy.

Additionally, when dealing with today’s commercial buildings, you also need the windows to meet certain structural requirements, and you probably want to — or have to, depending on code requirements in your location — factor in energy efficiency, acoustics, security and UV protection.

At Winco Window Company, we’re a multi-generational company that specializes in creating architectural window solutions for commercial applications. We craft the highest caliber custom windows to preserve historical and architectural integrity while protecting your investments and prolonging the life of your building.  

3 Historic Window Replacement Projects

Check out three of our latest custom historic window replacement projects for a look at our commitment to quality execution.

1. Macy’s 

Macy’s iconic retail store in Brooklyn, NY had several underutilized upper floors that needed to be redeveloped in 2014. Architect Tishman Speyer worked with them to update these floors into creative office space and an approximately 356,000 rentable square feet over the existing structure.

Contractor Allen Architectural Metals dismantled, cataloged and transported 69 tons of iron to their Alabama base for the restoration. All of the original windows needed to be replaced, and the decision was made to replicate them using our 1450H series windows set in metal frames by Linetec. The windows were finished with a 70 percent Kynar paint that matches the lily pad green of the surrounding framework.

The restored historic façade was reinstalled over a concrete weather wall for a new and improved front for Macy’s. Monolithic glass with a tinted, reflective infill hides the contemporary building from passersby while presenting the facade’s original sightlines. Modern technology helped improve this building without disrupting the historic originality.

2. Veterans for Tomorrow

In this historic window replacement project, an abandoned Heaton & Cowing Mill was transformed into a modern and functional apartment building with twenty units for disabled and homeless veterans. This project was initiated by Veterans for Tomorrow, an organization that provides access to supportive services and housing for homeless veterans.

This building was an older one, built originally in 1832. Surprisingly, most of the original brick was preserved, so they needed windows that would match the historic aesthetic while still providing modern thermal savings and energy efficiency.

The solution for the perfect windows was our Winco Series 3250 Historic Steel Replica window system with a black anodized finish and an exterior grid to replicate and honor the original look of the building.

Today, they have a gorgeous, historically accurate building that houses those who served our country. 

3. Pier 70

Located in San Francisco, Pier 70 is a historic waterfront port. Today, it is known as one of the best-preserved industrial complexes of the 19th century west of the Mississippi. Not only did this building require historically accurate windows, but its location near a waterfront and the floor-to-ceiling windows meant durability was crucial.

The best windows for the job were our hurricane-rated 3250 Steel Replica windows. These are made with heavy-duty aluminum frames, so they’re more cost-effective than steel, and they also buffer wind, noise and water infiltration due to their lamination. In addition, they provide incredible energy savings because of our custom glazing process.

The windows used in this project have a 3-1/4” frame depth and a 1/8” wall thickness for the highest structural durability and performance, so they’re ready to stand the test of time.

For this particular historic steel window replacement, we didn’t use steel at all. By making that choice, we were able to provide the durability and style that Pier 70 wanted at a budget that made sense for their project. This project definitely reveals that it’s possible to do beautiful historic window replacements without replicating the exact materials.

Getting Started With a Historic Steel Window Replacement

Each of these three projects required an entirely different approach to fit the needs of the building. After all, all historic steel window replacement projects truly have their own unique requirements. And when you add in other needs like energy efficiency, durability, style and budgetary constraints, it’s evident why historic window replacements tend to be such a complex undertaking.

We’re experts at historic steel window replacements, so whether you’re looking for a customized solution like Macy’s or an out-of-the-box option like Veterans for Tomorrow — we have you covered.

If you’re ready to undertake a window replacement project in your historic building, let us help with your specification. At Winco Window Company, we work with contractors and architects to ensure our windows meet current International Building Codes (IBC). We also work with testing labs, so you can rest easy knowing your windows are beautiful and safe.

Contact us today with any questions. If you’re ready to get started, you can find your Winco rep here.