Death by a Thousand Cuts
This before-and-after montage illustrates the unfortunate effect that replacement windows can have on the unique character of the city’s historic architecture. Like a cartoon character’s x’d-out eyes, the slap-dash vinyl windows recently installed in this Chinatown commercial loft robbed the building of some fantastic, one-of-a-kind diamond panes (some nice balcony railings have apparently gone the way of the scrapper, as well). This is Exhibit A in the case for more historic districts being needed in Philadelphia, where such short-sighted changes are regularly averted through design review. And before shouting “energy efficiency,” the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s online resource center for historic windows is worth a visit. So is this video.