The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia will hold a two-day historic windows restoration workshop on the campus of Shepherd University. The workshop, which will be free and open to the public, will be held April 5-6, 2014. It will be conducted by Lynn Stasick, statewide field representative of the PAWV. The workshop is made possible by grants received by Shepherd University’s Historic Preservation and Public History Program. The program received $1,000 from the Two Rivers Giving Circle and a matching grant from the Historic Shepherdstown Commission.
The workshop will focus on the Entler-Weltzheimer House on the campus of Shepherd University. As it is the last remaining example of vernacular architecture in a modest part of Shepherdstown along High Street, preserving the structure is important to the Shepherdstown community. By 2000, though, the Entler-Weltzheimer House had become dilapidated and was an eyesore. In 2011, Shepherd University applied for a grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and was awarded $34,419 for a restoration of the Entler-Weltzheimer House. Shepherd matched these funds, and from 2011-2012, $68,838 was invested for major external renovations, including removal of a non-significant dormer, a new historically appropriate roof, new paint, and significant interior repair and stabilization. In 2013, the Phi Sigma Chi sorority, who used the house from 1948-1960, donated funds for a new railing in front of the house. The windows, however, are in need of repairs, ranging from complete rebuilding to paint removal and repainting. Boards still cover the window openings, and the structure, while no longer an eyesore, still presents an unfinished appearance.
Windows have long been a bone of contention within historic preservation projects. For many years, environmentalists and preservationists butted heads over the issue of replacement windows that were thought to be more energy efficient versus restoring original windows. Concerns about lead paint also led to the drive to replace old windows rather than repair them. Recent best practices have shifted from window replacement to window restoration, retaining the original historical look and feel of the old glass and wood while keeping the energy invested in the original window fabrication. Moreover, weatherization updates can increase the energy efficiency of the window and proper techniques can provide for lead abatement safely and reasonably. Nevertheless, historic wood windows continue to be removed and replaced unnecessarily. In most cases, property owners do not understand that it is possible to restore wood windows properly, safely, and affordably. The PAWV workshop aims to educate the public about proper window restoration a techniques while in the process significantly improving the appearance of the Entler-Weltzheimer House.