Re-View was selected to restore the wood windows on the Illinois State Capitol. The scope of work involved restoring the wood window frames and the sash for those units where all original units remained. Some other openings on the project had a non-historic sash replacement by one of the large wood window manufacturers installed in the existing frame. Re-View was to remove this sash and to provide a historic replica.
Our field carpenters removed the original window sash and shipped them back to the Re-View window restoration site. Most of the windows were very large double hung units. Some of them had quarter-circle casements serving as transoms. Our field craftsmen then restored the frames onsite using a combination of restoration epoxies and replacement components such as sills and brickmould. We installed large temporary enclosures to keep the elements out of the building.
The glass and finishes were all removed from the original sash. This allowed our craftsmen to fully determine the extent of damage done to the window parts. We used a restoration epoxies to restore the sash, muntins, and profiles. All mortise and tennon joints were repaired and the sash were glued and fastened. This process of repairing every part assures that all elements are restored and provides joinery that doesn’t move.
After the sash were restored, our craftsmen proceeded to convert the single pane glass to insulated Low E. We routed out the sash to accommodate the thicker glazing and set the new glass into a backbed of silicone. We then applied an exterior mahogany stop to simulate the putty glazing that existed on the originals. You cannot use putty with insulated glass because it will cause the seal to fail. Re-View has a multi-step process to secure this exterior stop so it will perform over time to keep water out and to survive the elements for many decades.
Our engineers used the existing window sash as the basis of design for the replica sash we were to construct, which replaced the non-historic sash. Many large window manufacturers will promote their standard products for landmark applications with poor results. The Re-View replicas were precise facsimiles of the originals. We used mahogany wood so they will last for decades and the interior stain was formulated to match the interior woodworking.
This project serves as a great example of how Re-View is a one-stop-shop for historic windows. We performed all field labor, window restoration, and custom manufacturing for a single source responsibility on the windows.
History of the Illinois State Capitol
The Illinois State Capitol located in Springfield, Illinois was constructed in 1888. With a total height of 361 feet, this building is the tallest Capitol in the United States including the U.S. Capitol building. In 2011, the west wing of the Capitol underwent a complete restoration.