Boarded-up windows have got people asking, “What is up at the Edmonds Museum?!”
The Edmonds Historical Museum, located in the city’s historic Carnegie Library Building, will be getting a new look by the end of 2018. “We are so excited to unveil a glimpse into the past,” said Museum Director Katie Kelly.
Since 2016, the City of Edmonds has been monitoring conditions inside the 108-year-old building. Working with the Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission along with museum staff, Edmonds Public Works’ Facilities Division has undertaken several “building envelope projects to preserve the operation of the building for future generations,” said City Facilities Manager Thom Sullivan. Noteworthy projects included replacement of the original 1910 skylight and replacing the exterior basement door with a historically correct reproduction.
In 2017 and 2018, the Snohomish County Community Heritage Grant Program awarded matching funds to replace all upper-level windows.
During the 1980s, the city replaced operable windows with non-operable insulated glass windows. “This was done because the original windows had degraded, and also to adhere to modern energy code,” said the city’s Thom Sullivan. “Through our investigation, we found that having non-operable windows sealed off the Carnegie Library Building, not allowing the intended natural ventilation afforded by the original 1910 design.”
Working with the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation along with the Edmonds Preservation Commission, the city decided to return the building as closely as possible to its original appearance and performance.
“This building has been the cornerstone of the downtown area since its construction,” said Historic Preservation Commission member Emily Scott. “By using historically appropriate materials, the building is no longer just a structure, but it embodies its original sense of character and materials. By reusing the original existing hardware, these
windows themselves are a small lesson in adaptive reuse.”
The windows are being manufactured to the original 1910 specifications (single-glazed, double-hung) by Seattle Historic Window Company. “In every instance, we have recovered and reused any historic hardware still in the walls, including the original 1910 counter weights and sash cord pulleys,” Sullivan said. “We are honored to undertake this level of historic preservation and restoration with the support of our talented City Facilities Staff, Edmonds Historical Museum Staff, and the Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission.”