The 35-37 West 23rd building was originally designed by David and John Jardine as a furniture store. It featured red brick and buff sandstone with a two-story base framed by fluted cast-iron piers. Photo: WindowFix.

WindowFix, a small family-owned Brooklyn, N.Y.-based glass company, was recently awarded the Lucy G. Moses Award for historical preservation. The award recognizes its work on an 1880 neo-Grec mixed-use building in New York City’s Ladies Mile Historic District. The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Lucy G. Moses Awards honors individuals, organizations, architects, craftspeople and building owners for outstanding preservation.

WindowFix was among eight companies recognized for restoring the historic façade of 35-37 West 23rd Street. WindowFix designs, manufactures and supplies glass throughout the tri-state area. Its projects range from commercial buildings to storefronts and Passive House projects.

WindowFix officials says the crowning glory of the project lies in the custom-crafted wood storefront. Photo: WindowFix.

The 35-37 West 23rd building was originally designed by David and John Jardine as a furniture store. It featured red brick and buff sandstone with a two-story base framed by fluted cast-iron piers. The first and second floors had showrooms with 10-foot by 12-foot glass storefront windows displaying furniture and household decorations.

Over the years, the building housed various enterprises, ranging from a bookstore to sewing factories and condos. The recent renovation sought to reclaim the building’s original façade down to the sheet metal cornice and windows.

According to WindowFix CEO Ernie Cappello, the project included the installation of a wide range of window types, including inswing casements and double-hung and triple-hung windows. Cappello says he was struck by all of the project’s notable and intricate details, from double-hung brick moldings to large operable casement windows, custom pilasters, large storefront windows and the transition points from floor to floor.

There were some difficulties, as is expected when renovating a 144-year-old building.

“There were many [challenges],” says Cappello. “From gathering information at the start of the project, anticipating all the details Landmark Preservation Commission will require, meeting clients’ needs and coordination and logistics in occupied spaces. Dealing with large sizes and engineering installation details was particularly challenging on this project.”

Paul Mulcahy, WindowFix’s in-house project manager and historic preservationist, says Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® Inc. sourced the storefront’s oversized glass from Turkey. He adds that additional glass and materials included 3/8 Guardian SN70S (tempered), ½ air spacers and 3/8 clear float (tempered).

One unforeseen hiccup involved a large storefront window that broke during installation. Fortunately, WindowFix received a replacement from AGNORA, which reduced the lead time considerably, says Cappello.

The project took two years to complete and required a special permit from the city.

According to WindowFix officials, the renovated building features Euro-inswing casements that lend a touch of modernity to its classic aesthetic. They say the crowning glory of the project lies in the custom-crafted wood storefront.

“Fashioned from the finest Sapele mahogany, this storefront is a testament to the timeless artistry of woodworking, featuring seamless integration of swing doors and fixed windows, including one magnificent specimen measuring an impressive 10 feet by 12 feet,” say officials.

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