Death by a Thousand Cuts

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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.




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