Nuns at a historic St. John’s convent will test windows that are easy to open and meet heritage guidelines.
Presentation Convent in St. John’s. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Last month, Coun. Jonathan Galgay announced that nuns at the 161-year-old Presentation Sisters Mother House had requested replacement windows that open horizontally to replace ones that open vertically, which are harder for the nuns — all of whom are older than 70 — to open.
Coun. Dave Lane, co-chairman of the city’s heritage advisory committee, said Tuesday the committee long ago gave the green light to replacing the windows.
“They had specifically requested horizontal sliders because, of all the windows they have in the building — many are old, and many were installed improperly — the only ones that open easily are horizontal sliders.”
The committee rejected the type of replacement window requested because it didn’t match the heritage style of the building, but suggested another type, such as an awning-style window that opens with a crank at the bottom, that would still meet the guidelines.
“What we were going to do anyway, and (what) we’ve done since, is met with the Presentation Sisters. We looked at all the windows and we actually went out to two local manufacturers and brought in examples of awning windows to show that the newer technology is actually very easy to open,” said Lane.
“The latches are down low, and there’s very little effort required to open and close them.”
A couple of windows will be installed in the building for testing, said Lane.
“If it works, then they’ll install the rest of them,” he said.
“They’re allowed to replace windows; they’re allowed to keep the windows they want that are already there — so if they have horizontal sliders they can keep them — but if they want to replace any windows, it comes through (the heritage committee) because it’s a heritage building in a heritage area.”