Located on the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University, Gilman Hall is a four-story building designed in the Georgian style of architecture. It was named after the university’s first president, Daniel Coit Gilman, and dedicated in 1915. The university’s ten humanities departments, which make up the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, are housed in Gilman Hall. In recent years, however, the departments outgrew their spaces—the building was last renovated in the mid 1980s—and the university hired New York City-based R. M. Kliment & Frances Halsband Architects to gut all the walls, restore the larger rooms, install new energy-efficient windows, and add insulation to the roof and walls. The centerpiece of the $73 million renovation is the addition of a three-story atrium built over the existing central courtyard. The exterior of the building, however, will remain largely untouched. Phased over a period of three years, the renovation project will be funded by the university, state money, and private donor support.
Bovis Lend Lease, a project management and construction company, was awarded the project to renovate Gilman Hall, and they in turn hired Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc. to perform the restoration of the historic windows in the building. The work includes nineteen stained glass windows presented to the university in 1930 by Mary King Carey in memory of her father, Francis T. King, an original university trustee. (In total, forty-six windows require restoration.)
As part of the requirements of the contract agreement and prior to starting any work, WEI’s team of architectural conservators carried out a detailed survey of the historic windows and submitted a report that described existing material conditions and provided a methodology for removing, transporting, storing, repairing, and reinstalling the windows. Gilman Hall’s openings are a combination of double-hung, single-sash, and casement windows, made of wood as well as steel. The especially large single-sash windows, which are curved, have arched tops, and measure approximately 8 feet by 15 ½ feet, had a custom support system built around them prior to removal. This provided protection for the sashes and especially the art glass, which is a distinctive and irreplaceable feature of the building. Once removed and catalogued, the sashes were individually packaged in customized crates. A scaffolding system was erected on the exterior of the building to facilitate removal of the windows, which were rolled out onto the scaffolding platform in their respective crates, and then lifted with a crane to place in WEI’s trucks for transportation to the mill workshop.
Existing windows are made of both wood and steel with painted glass and consisted of single-hung sash, double hung, casement, and transom styles. However, the frames and sashes in the turret are curved.
Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc (WEI) carefully removed the sashes from each window opening, crated for support, and transported to WEI woodwork shop for complete restoration.
Complete restoration included removing the lead paint while following proper abatement procedures; deglazing the sashes; treating the exposed wood with a preservative prior to patching and repairing; using an epoxy specially formulated for wood for repairing moderately decayed woodwork and dutchman for more severely decayed woodwork; reglazing the sashes and reinstalling the glass in their original locations; priming and painting. WEI also painstakingly conserved the painted art glass, requiring specialized skills from our talented craftsmen.