<photo> Detail of interior wood feature; Link to National Park Service
Introduction to Standards and Guidelines: Historical Overview
<photo> detail of historic windows

United States starting in the 17th century with wooden casement windows with tiny glass panes seated in lead cames. From the transitional single-hung sash in the early 1700s to the true double-hung sash later in the century, these early wooden windows were characterized by small panes, wide muntins, and decorative trim. As the sash thickness increased, muntins took on a thinner appearance as they narrowed in width but increased in thickness.

Changes in technology led to larger panes of glass so that by the mid-19th century, two-over-two lights were common; the manufacture of plate glass in the United States allowed for use of large sheets of glass in commercial and office buildings by the late 19th century. With mass-produced windows, mail order distribution, and changing architectural styles, it was possible to obtain a wide range of window designs and light patterns in sash. Early 20th century designs frequently utilized smaller lights in the upper sash and also casement windows. The desire for fireproof building construction in dense urban areas contributed to the growth of a thriving steel window industry along with a market for hollow metal and metal clad wooden windows.

As one of the few parts of a building serving as both an interior and exterior feature, windows are nearly always an important part of a historic building.


Choosing Treatment

Using the Standards + Guidelines

-Historical Overview-

Exterior Materials
Architectural Metals

Exterior Features
Entrances + Porches

Interior Features
Structural System Spaces/Features/Finishes
Mechanical Systems



Special Requirements
Energy Efficiency
Health + Safety
New Additions




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