The Cross House

Discovery #8!!!!!!!!

Last summer, when restoring the window frame of the triple-arched windows on the Great North Wall, I found a odd piece of trim, vertical, poorly tacked onto the window frame. The piece was only half intact. I had no idea why it was there, and assumed it was stuck on well after the house was built. I removed it.

 

The other day, Justin and I finished erecting the scaffolding on the Great North Facade. Climbing all the way up, we were able to stand before the gable window.

 

On each side of the two windows I noted an odd piece of trim…

 

…which looked just like the damaged piece I removed last summer. These intact pieces did not looked tacked on and I realized that they were likely original. Oh. But WHAT were the pieces for?  They made no sense.

 

Yesterday, I did a post about some very odd bits of hardware regarding the windows of the Cross House.

Bo left a comment, linking to a WAY cool period screen catalog.

 

I am familiar with full-height window screen sashes, but have never seen half-sashes like these.

 

This image, in particular, captured my special attention. See part M? THIS is my unexplained trim!!!!!!!!

 

On the right you can see a flexible metal strip. This “spring” strip would have allowed the screen sashes to be fitted into place. Very cool. Note the numbered button under the handle?

 

Note the latter part of the first sentence?

 

I have some of these tacks in situ. Although on the sides of the exterior window frame rather than sill.

 

Today, and with great excitement, I went looked for more windows with M Trim. I found some! The south window in the parlor has extant M Trim on the right side! The SE window in the library has BOTH sides with extant M Trim! Zounds!!!!!!!! This likely means that all the windows were fitted with M Trim, save special windows like in the pantry.

 

A 1932 image. The triple arched windows on the west facade. The left window appears to have an 1894 half-screen as shown in the catalog image. The right windows appears to have a full screen. Was this from a later date?

 

Well, I am quite breathless!

 

SUMMARY

I was not planning any storm windows or screens on the house.

But now?

Oh! Now I just have to at the very least have half-screens made for the few windows which retains their original M Trim! From a historical perspective I think it will be fascinating to recreate a few 1890s screens and have them installed at the Cross House. Even if just a single one!

Thanks, Bo!

 

18 Responses to Discovery #8!!!!!!!!

  1. Have you considered marshaling your trim resources in order to screen strategic windows for cross-ventilation? Or do you propose to keep the house closed and want screens only for illustrative purposes?

    • My plan is to seal all the windows in the house. This will be VITAL to reduce heating/cooling loads.

      Sealing the windows will also make a HUGE difference in making the house quieter. The house is right against a highway. In rooms already sealed the awful sound drops by like 85%. Really, the difference is incredible.

      I now plan to have at least one period-correct screen made for illustrative purposes. This would be for the SE library window, which fully retains its M Trim.

      • This is fascinating. It also answers my question about screens and storms for Cross House.

        As usual Bo is a plethora of knowledge about details!

        Also, off the subject but cogent for well-being & published in WELL; NYT: 3/29/17 was an article by Lesley Aldermam, “Therapists Offer Strategies to Manage Post-Election Stress.” I found it helpful for my continued anxiety about the current political climate which is continuing to be more and more demoralizing. I have continued to feel the way you felt when you posted your end of the year Ross post. Thankfully all the mean trolls have disappeared into the ether never to return.

        Back on the subject– Cross House looks amazing! I am amazed at your fresh, optimistic and continued sense of wonder at new discoveries! It is uplifting.

        Happy spring and continued blessings to come your way for your stewardship in preserving this beautiful piece of Emporia history!

        • I sympathize with your being demoralized.

          Today I read that 57% of Americans approve of the strike on Syria.

          57% approve of THIS?

          DESTROYED:
          1 cafeteria
          6 already-broken planes
          some fuel units
          1 training room

          KILLED:
          6 innocent adults
          4 beautiful children

          Cost to American taxpayers?

          100 MILLION. I repeat: 100 MILLION.

          So, Trump wants to destroy Meals-on-Wheels. But it is OK, apparently, to spend 100 million on a meaningless airstrike, and murder 10 innocent people.

          And 57% also think this is OK.

          Imagine though the national outrage if some country dropped a bunch of bombs on America, and killed ten people. America would be LIVID LIVID LIVID. Yet, when we do this to another country, 57% are just fine with it.

          Oh, and this just in: “The Independent reports: Donald Trump’s [golfing] trips to his luxury Florida resort have already cost the US taxpayer at least $24 million – roughly as much as Barack Obama spent on travel in the first two years of his presidency.”

          I feel like I am living in a world gone mad.

      • I suspected that that might be the case. We insulated our old house in Wichita (though we didn’t fully air-condition it), but my lovely wife and I do not miss the downtown traffic noise there.

        We built a house on exurban land. Other than an egress window in the extra bedroom, none of the windows are operable. This was for pollen and dust control and so screens wouldn’t interfere with views.

        I designed the HVAC with a secondary trunk that takes in outside air through a pollen filter, then uses the fan to circulate the fresh air through the vents. Using the fresh-air mode opens a chimney that vents warmer air and prevents pressure build-up. We’ve not needed the system much because the house is very temperature-stable in spring and fall, and the heat-recovery ventilator keeps the air in the house fresh even when the regular system doesn’t cycle often.

  2. I have all of the original half screens for my 1908 house in the basement. I was unaware that the half screens were rare. I’ll have to take them out and examine them for numbers!

  3. Like you, I’m familiar with the full-frame screens (and full-frame storm windows the removable bottom dashes that can be swapped for glass or screens), but have never heard of those before. Very cool information!

    I like your idea of installing one or more reproductions for illustration. Is there a window off of a porch where it would be easy to demonstrate it from the outside too?

  4. Honestly, I think storms would do a whole lot more good than sealing, it’s the glass where the heat goes out of the window! Weatherstripping is obviously necessary too but not worth all that much without storms. Besides, they’d protect your beautiful stained glass from the elements!

    I sort-of have storms (actually it’s simply two sets of hinged casements that stay in place year-round, as it’s usually done in older houses in central and eastern Europe) and once someone had the brilliant idea of removing them for painting in November. It was incredible how much faster the room cooled without them!

    • The #1 cause of heat loss is leaks.

      A leaky house is a very $$$$ house to heat and cool.

      Heat also does not escape sideways. Heat goes UP. 85% of heat goes through the ceiling, into the attic, and then outside. So, making sure heat cannot escape through the ceiling is vital.

      While storm windows will also help, my research indicates that sealing the windows (which is really inexpensive to do, and is reversible) will be far more effective.

  5. In the last photo of the round-top windows, you can see a pair of small brackets or something at either side of the top frame – almost like storm sash hangers. Can’t tell what they are.

    Ragnar’s points on authentic wood-frame storm sash are valid on all points – especially regarding the stained glass protection (even if they only installed to protect the transoms).

    Maybe not a priority, but something to keep in mind. The radius windows would obviously be harder to do that others. Selective deployment might make sense – particularly on larger windows where big panes of glass act as eardrum-like diaphragms for sound transmission (and radiant heat loss/gain).

    Using a Low-E glass would buy you significant thermal and UV filtering too.

    • Hi Bo!

      Yes, I agree with your first sentence.

      Also, I read somewhere that installing storm windows over stained-glass actually causes damage. If I recall correctly, the dead air somehow eats away at the lead caming.

      Also, I think the house is far more attractive without storm windows. Having the clear-glass sashes exposed, and the interplay of light on them (as the upper sash is forward of the lower sash) is attractive. And as you walk around outside, the stained-glass windows just shimmer like sunlight on a pond as each individual piece of glass refracts light differently. Storm windows would kill all this.

  6. Ross– I agree with the heat loss concerns & aesthetic of the beauty of the stained glass.

    With almost 9000 sq feet of House and (????) X -number of windows ( I forgot the grand total number of windows) I agree with the macro approach of mastering leaks.

    Leaks with that many windows and the square footage would be exponential!!????

    Carry on with your real life theory of coping with heat loss and real $$ of heating/cooling. Theoretical ideas are no match for real-life monthly heating/cooling costs– real $$ and cents:-(

    Regardless of your approach to this dilemma– I vote for selective period screens/1/2 sashes with the windows that have the wood trim and only those & sealing everything else.

    Wonderful & stunning progress on Cross House!! I

    It is coming to fruition. Once most important outer and the circumference of the building are tackled and sealed then step by step indoor projects that remain will eventually be done. The Cross House will eventually be restored by Restoring Ross and before 92 years of age. I think you will have many years of enjoyment with your partner to share, I believe this and pray it will be so!!

    Yay Ross!!

  7. H’mmmm I have a few half screens up in the attic. I had NO idea how these worked.

    Early on in my ownership of this 1913 house, I had triple-track windows installed
    on the 2nd floor as there were no storm windows. Or there were the half windows also.
    I can’t recall now. A couple of the surviving full window screens from my living room
    have the number tags. No corresponding tag in the window frames. I had storms made and
    then etched numbers into the glass.

    Sorry to hear you’re going to seal all the windows. I love open windows, permitting
    breezes thru when the weather permits. I do still seal the original living room windows
    w/Seal and Peel every fall tho. I love that stuff!

  8. I’m glad you are sealing the windows as the house is on a busy highway. Anyway easily reversible if someone wants to open windows down the road. Also in addition to noise from the highway there would be more dust and dirt blowing in, I vote for keeping leaks, noise and extra dust/dirt out. Yay Ross! You are amazing and making such wondrous progress!!!!

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