Historic Window Replication in Brooklyn Lofts
As an expert in historic window replacement, replication, and restoration, we’re often asked to work on historic replication projects. St. Cloud Window was approached for work on a warehouse conversion in Brooklyn, called the Plymouth Lofts. As part of the DUMBO (Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass) Historic District, the new windows needed to replicate historic windows while still passing modern safety standards.
About 135 Plymouth
With rising urban populations putting pressure on space in cities, architects are turning to unused industrial buildings to help solve the problem of overcrowding. Many of these buildings were built during a time when architecture was something celebrated and revered, so the quality and the details of these buildings make them incredibly intricate and attractive. Most were also built very practical, to get the goods into the buildings with a minimum amount of effort and with big windows to allow larger materials to be brought in through them.
For architects, historic warehouses offer an opportunity to create new elements inside an old structure and keep alive the history of these amazing places. 135 Plymouth was constructed in 1900 as a machinery and metal product factory by EW Bliss & Company, but during World War II, it was transformed into a munitions factory and storage facility for finished munition goods.
The challenge was converting the vacant warehouse space to lofts to create more living space in an area with high demand. The new lofts would be strategically located at the center of the Manhattan Bridge, East River, and John & Main Street Parks.
Letting in natural light and mitigating urban noise were the biggest challenges. Since most loft conversations have windows on only one side, it was a challenge to bring light into every unit. Urban noise was another challenge given the strategic location of historic DUMBO near the Manhattan Bridge. The goal was to create a tranquil environment throughout the structure, for both residents and the main floor Brooklyn Public Library patrons. Preserving the look of the building was also important, so the windows needed to be historical replication that would match the design of the building while still meeting modern safety demands.
We needed to select high-performing windows that were both functional and aesthetically pleasing. SCW5000-A11 windows were chosen to match the historic details and acoustic requirements of this landmark property.
The historic window replacement was essential to maintaining the authentic 1900s warehouse appearance – both on the exterior and on the interior. The large openings and replicating the classic steel windows and sightlines were another important factor. Along with the historic narrow sightlines providing large views and daylight, the windows also needed to meet stringent energy codes and OITC sound transmission values based on the site-specific acoustic evaluation.
Nearly 500 double-hung, single-hung, simulated-hung and fixed SCW5000 Series ultra acoustic windows were installed to help maintain the historic detailing while delivering modern-day acoustic and thermal performance.
SCW5000 Series windows are designed to achieve superior STC/OITC sound ratings and with a polyamide thermal barrier to achieve energy-efficient U-values. The windows are tested to meet AAMA AW-100 Architectural Performance Class ratings, including air infiltration, water resistance, life-cycle testing, and structural integrity.
The end result of this project was a beautiful and functional space. Natural light reflects into the renovated spaces and soundproofed windows create a tranquil environment throughout the structure so that residents and library patrons can enjoy a peaceful retreat.
For more examples of our work, check out our full project page.