Steel framed windows getting preservation makeover

After eighteen months of preparation, Waterfowl Chesapeake (WC) is thrilled to announce that restoration of more than 30 or the original steel-framed windows in the historic Waterfowl Building has begun. In 2018, Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) awarded the organization $100,000 from its Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program for this project. WC was one of only seven award recipients from across the state.

“We are so thrilled to get this project underway and grateful to MHT for recognizing the historic relevance of our building and its value to the community,” says Executive Director Margaret Enloe. “Although we’d hoped to get started earlier on this restoration, the timing is perfect. 2020 is Waterfowl’s 50th Anniversary year and this work is a great way to show our commitment to the future.”

Waterfowl Chesapeake hired Architectural Window Restoration (AWR), a contractor specializing in historic windows, to do the project while meeting all MHT guidelines. This week and into next, AWR’s expert crew will be carefully removing each window and preparing them for delivery off site where they will be cleaned, repaired, repainted and re-glazed before being reinstalled. The project is expected to be done by summer and, in the meantime, Waterfowl offices are open for business they plan for this fall’s 50th Festival – a once in a century event.

The Waterfowl Building (a.k.a. the historic Easton Armory) was built in 1927 after several years of lobbying by local residents and elected officials. While its function was to serve as a training facility for Maryland’s state militia, the building’s drill hall, now called Festival Hall, also served as a community gathering place for everything from boxing matches and basketball games to flower shows, poultry exhibitions and art festivals over the decades. Waterfowl took ownership of the building in the 1980s, after a stint of ownership by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Town of Easton.

“We think the Waterfowl Building is a gem on this end of downtown and want to do everything possible to make it shine brightly as a gathering place on the mid-Shore for another fifty years,” says Enloe.