Case Study: Armstrong-Quinlan House
By Berit Griffin
February 4, 2010
This massive and gracious Victorian in St. Paul, Minn. has come a long ways–well, a few blocks!
The Armstrong-Quinlan House, built in 1886, incorporated a unique blend of architectural styles that eventually led to its being placed on The National Register of Historic Places. In the fall of 2005, the once-elegant but now decrepit building made a short but dramatic relocation to a new site a few blocks away. Power lines, mailboxes, traffic lights, road signs and even parking meters were temporarily removed to provide the 900-ton brick house enough room to make the move, which took a week to complete.
To restore the building to its original beauty would require more than a facelift – it demanded a complete overhaul. The new owners were required to meet historical standards as the house was gutted and remodeled into four elegant new condominiums — two side-by-side, two-story units, a third-floor penthouse, and a lower-level garden unit. The house required custom-fitted, unique windows that had to match the look of the historical landmark while meeting modern expectations of functionality and energy-efficiency.
More than 65 new Marvin windows were designed and custom-built to match historical standards, each measured and crafted for a particular location to provide beautiful views from the restored house. A wide variety of windows was needed — from the grand scale of double hung windows for the living room and a triple set of windows crowned with round tops in the master bedroom, to tall windows from the kitchen and dining areas that open onto attractive views of the brickwork and wrought-iron railings of the elegant rear courtyard.
The final result in the Armstrong-Quinlan house is nothing less than stunning — residents are offered clear views of the city of St. Paul and riverboats along the Mississippi. Natural light fills every room and the windows will withstand Minnesota’s extreme weather conditions without losing either functionality or beauty.