The work of renovating and preserving the Stewart Library Building has included some large projects, carried out from long-term plans. However, along the way a number of smaller issues have come up, things we did not anticipate ahead of time, things that became obvious as the major projects moved along. One of those follow-up projects was repair and refinishing of the oak window sills.
SERIOUS DAMAGE TO WINDOW SILLS
At first we were looking at the sills in the Private Library. From there we moved around the building to find that the finish on many of the window sills was in bad shape; cracked, peeling, and dirty. Many of them were damaged by water that leaked in around the window frames over the years as the outside masonry deteriorated.
Thanks to the grants we received the masonry has been repaired. The outside of the windows and the frames have been repaired, sealed, and painted. The inside sills are now protected from most of the elements that have contributed to the damage over the years. Thanks to the many donors who gave to the fund raising campaign we have the money needed to repair the window sills.
CONTRACTED FOR REPAIRS
We contracted with Nickerson and O’Day to repair and refinish the interior sills on most of the windows throughout the building. It is a tiny job when compared with most of the jobs they do but their work have been amazing. From the beginning of our relationship with them all of their work has been of high quality. They have been committed to the effort to preserve the building and contents.
A few of the windows on the second floor have required more extensive repairs, boards had deteriorated and warped from severe leaks. Soon we will be installing interior storm windows throughout the building. Before the storm windows can be installed those damaged sills must be repaired. In a couple of cases the oak finish boards had to be replaced. Somehow they found suitable oak and finished it so that it matches the hundred-year-old existing wood nicely.
This is another example of how complex this project has been and how well things can work out when you are working with the right people, the contractors who know what they are doing in a preservation effort, and all the members of the Building Preservation Group who are committed to the goal of preserving the Stewart Library Building for now and the future.