university hall, university of toledo
replicating the past
Built in 1931, University Hall stands as the University of Toledo’s most iconic building, its stately clock tower overlooking all campus activity.
In the buildings surrounding it, the university has been replacing windows with an eye toward energy efficiency, but with no real concern for architectural detail.
In the building itself, that mindset changed. “They came to us and said, we have to make the windows look exactly like the originals,” Gordon Priemer, president of Jamieson Ricca Windows, said. “They recognized this is their marquee building and they wanted to make sure they did the windows right.”
Priemer contacted Graham rep Tim Davis, of AR Design. “Because it originally had leaded glass windows, this building demanded a tremendous level of detail,” Davis said. A short timeline only added to the challenge.
Davis brought in Graham Architectural Products and said, “Graham did a great job partnering with Jamieson-Ricca and was able to get the information needed to turn the windows around in a very impressive timeframe.”
He added, “I think the architect and the university were surprised at how cost-effective Graham’s solution was. Once they ran the numbers, they realized that at the volume they were buying (nearly 1,200 windows), paying attention to this level of detail really didn’t cost them any significant premium.”
And though the key objective was precise replication, Graham’s 6700 Series windows provided the University with another key benefit. Chuck Lehnert, retired vice president of corporate administration, told the UT News that the energy savings will enable the $1 million capital investment by the state of Ohio to break even in 15 years. “We are going to reap the financial benefit that modern materials offer, but the look of the windows [is] nearly identical,” he said.
The job was particularly gratifying for Priemer, who as a member of the Cleveland Restoration Society board takes historic renovation personally: “Very much so,” he said. “Part of our advocacy is keeping and restoring all of our historic buildings, so any time our company can play a role in the rehab of historic properties, we take great pride in that.”