Windows are not only functional elements in a building but also serve as aesthetic highlights, especially in historic structures. The South East United States boasts a rich architectural heritage, and preserving the authenticity of historic buildings is of paramount importance. In this article, we will explore the world of unique wooden window makers in the South East US, with a special focus on Gepetto Millworks completed construction project portfolio. Our job history and qualifications highlight our unique and notable contributions to the restoration of the Montgomery Building in Spartanburg, SC and the Bull Street District Mental Hospital renovation in Columbia, SC.
Gepetto Millworks owned and operated by Matthew Wiley with his wife Pamela became a renowned window maker based in the South East US, by starting in one of the oldest standing neighborhoods on the contenent : Church Hill Richmond. The word spread fast as Matthew built to order and matched historic trims, embellishments and other unique elements that make history come alive in historic homes, churches, theaters and restaruants. Specializing in crafting historically accurate unique wooden windows for historic structures soon caught the attention of restoration specialists from Williamsburg VA’s historic district. With decades of experience, Gepetto is now an approved vendor to the National Parks Services & Pentagon specialist provider for historic military buildings. Our unwavering commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and attention to hand built detail from the blue ridge near Charlottesville VA established us as a leader in the field.
The Montgomery Building, Spartanburg, SC brought the largest order for historic windows ever seen by the Gepetto shop. Renovating an iconic landmark with a rich history in the center of Spartansburg made for an order of 940 windows on this 24 story building. Built in 1924, it was the first high-rise building in Spartanburg and South Carolina. Gepetto Millworks was entrusted with the task of restoring and replicating the building’s historic windows, ensuring the preservation of its original character as it evolved into a mixed use modern development with shops, condos and a full set of amenities. Gepetto’s extensive knowledge of period-specific window design and construction techniques Matthew successfully recreated the historic windows but added energy efficient weather beating parts seamlessly blending old-world charm with modern functionality. The windows underwent full durability testing before being ordered, as due dilligence would suggest. This video shows the windows under hurricane strength wind forces to test their breaking point:
The Bull Street District renovation centers around the Historic Mental Hospital in downtownColumbia, SC. One of the first facilities to provide mental health services in the country it holds significant historical importance! As part of a major renovation project aimed at transforming the hospital into a vibrant mixed-use development with baseball dimond, urban shopping like REI now anchors a full set of modern amenities to this historic campus where they raised their own food. Gepetto Millworks played a crucial role supplying the windows and millwork elements that qualify as Historic Tax Credit building materials. Our expertise in crafting windows that adhere to the strict guidelines of historical preservation helped breathe new life into the building while maintaining its architectural integrity. Now residents walk their dogs under the beautiful living history of the mature trees on the campus.
Unique Qualifications – Customization and Replication
Gepetto Millworks specializes in the customization and replication of historic windows down to the panes of glass. Our skilled artisans meticulously note original window designs, materials, and construction techniques to ensure the accurate reproduction of frames, sashes and trims that add up to be indistinguishable from the originals when fully installed. Attention to detail while meeting all construction timelines is why large general contractors rely on Gepetto exclusively for projects at this scale.
Material Selection and Craftsmanship
The choice of materials is vital when recreating historic windows. Gepetto Millworks sources high-quality, sustainable wood that matches the original species used in the historic windows. Through their exceptional craftsmanship, they transform raw materials into intricate, durable, and beautiful window components that stand the test of time.
Preservation projects demand a deep understanding of how species of wood interact, how it will be machined into shape, and the order of installation to match historical preservation. Gepetto Millworks generously shares their expertise with contractors installing their products as woodworking is becoming a lost art with most commercial windows choosing aluminum for their material Gepetto ensures adherance to the authentic style and proportions of the era in which the building was constructed even if example windows are destroyed beyond recovery.
Impact and Legacy:
The work of Gepetto Millworks restoring historic windows extends beyond the mere physical preservation of structures. By meticulously replicating windows, trim, glass panes and sashes, they contribute to the overall cultural and historical heritage of the South East United States. Dedication to craftsmanship and historical accuracy ensures that future generations can appreciate and understand the architectural achievements of the past. If the windows in your home or building have lasted 200 years already, you do have a safe and reliable alternative to the plastics, vinyls, and metals that cloud the current marketplace. Ask your accountant to amortize the cost of the windows over 200 years as you get a quote – it puts the whole process into perspective.
Preserving historic structures requires a delicate balance between maintaining authenticity and meeting modern functionality standards. Gepetto Millworks can apply UV Coatings, Weather Stripping and other small nuances that bring the historic window up to all energy efficiency expectations. Through exceptional skills and creative problem solvoing we have made significant contributions to the restoration and replication of historic windows across the eastern seaboard. With notable projects like the Montgomery Building in Spartanburg, SC, and the Bull Street District Mental Hospital in Columbia, SC, Gepetto Millworks continues to leave an indelible mark on the South East US’s regional architectural heritage.