As the rehabilitation of Rose Haven continues, and we wait our turn in having our General Contractor and subcontractors come off other projects, we are not sitting idly by. Daily work on the gardens advances and is visible to those driving by or stopping in to see our progress. What is less visible, but critical to the rehab, is the “pane” staking work to repair/rebuild and preservation of each of the 42 historic windows in the Rose Haven house.
Project engineer and now window wizard David “Merlin” Steckel has become quite adept at removing the damaged windows and triaging them based on condition of the glass and frame. He is now skilled at repairing rotted or unusable parts of the frame, putting glass back into the repaired frame and sealing (glazing) it. Then the sash is primed and painted. It is often tedious and exacting work and progress is slow. David works on the windows in his garage. When I stop by there is always music or comedy playing on his music system, probably not news; frustration is not the friend of such work. You might wonder why we are going through this much effort on the windows.
One of the threads that runs through our mission, other than the important work advancing wellness and resilience programs for at-risk female Veterans, is the preservation of our circa 1892 farmhouse. We wanted our project to include rehabbing a house in the historic district as part of our Rose Haven Center of Healing. This will also help transform a neighborhood, and maintain the tie to Washington communities of the past.
Pamlico Rose, along with your help is making Rose Haven more resilient, just as we will promote resilience with our female Veteran programs. We gladly, although I am sure David at times in his garage toiling away wonders if it is worth the effort, subscribe to the guidelines for preservation that come with living in the historic district; repairing windows or building new windows from wood to match the original windows. David is also at work repairing exterior window sills and the actual window boxes too. We want our windows to be one of the highlights of our preservation work. These will give residents and retreat goers great views of the gardens and landscaping and the healing that can also take place outside of Rose Haven. (It’s also been proven that old sashes, if repaired and installed properly, can be as efficient as modern windows – “Merlin”)
— Robert Greene Sands