In 2011, the school decided to restore Alumni Hall on the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville, Tennessee. It was decided that the existing steel windows should be restored given the historic significance of this National Register property. Many owners decide to replace steel windows because of rust, failed paint, and energy efficiency issues. Vanderbilt was sharp enough to realize that window restoration would solve all of those challenges and enable the windows to perform for another 100+ years.
Re-View was selected to restore the existing steel casement windows. Our carpenters removed every window unit onsite and marked them to the specific opening. They installed temporary enclosures to keep out the elements and to provide security. The window units were shipped back to the Re-View’s window restoration plant to undergo a complete restoration.
We removed the existing leaded glass to begin the restoration process. The frames and sash were then sent to an oven to have all finishes burned off of them. We then restored the steel by using specially formulated epoxy fillers to address pitting in the steel. Areas in need of structural repair were welded and component sections were replaced with replicas.
The windows were then blasted with a media that provided the selected surface preparation required for receiving a powder coat. Finishing steel windows is an exact science. We selected powder coating for this project because the mil thickness of this type of paint is less than other alternatives. It also has proven to be a very durable solution. One of the keys to a good finish on steel windows is the surface preparation and our blasting was calibrated to optimize the powder coat adhesion.
Re-View was responsible for the leaded glass restoration as well. All of the existing lead cames needed to be replaced and new sealant installed to glaze the original glass back into the window. This restoration process eliminates water intrusion through the caming. The leaded glass was then installed into the restored window.
Re-View also restored all of the locking hardware. The existing locks had outstanding detailing, but many were painted or oxidized. We restored the existing back to a desired patina. We also had to cast custom brass replicas for those units that were missing.
To complete the restoration process, our field carpenters installed the restored windows into their respective openings. In an effort to increase the energy efficiency, Re-View supplied and installed an interior aluminum storm window. Historic windows with a storm unit have tested to be as energy efficient as the modern replacement windows.This project serves as a good example of how Re-View can take a corroded steel window and bring it back to life so it will perform for another 100 years.
History of the Vanderbilt University Campus Alumni Hall
Alumni Hall on the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville, Tennessee was constructed in 1919 to memorialize the Vanderbilt alumni who lost their lives in World War I. This Collegiate Gothic structure has become a centerpiece of the beautiful campus.