Commentary: Letters to the Editor: Don’t send vintage windows to the trash heap, reader writes

Desiree and Al Shier’s Spanish Colonial Revival house, in the Rossmoyne neighborhood of Glendale on
A member of the Glendale Historical Society’s board of directors writes to urge homeowners not to replace original windows on their vintage homes and invites them to an upcoming Restoration Expo. Above, an historic Spanish Colonial Revival home in the Rossmoyne area.
(File Photo / Glendale News-Press)

Spring is here and with it the letters from the window replacement companies.

They urge me to get rid of my “underperforming windows” and put an end to “high energy bills.” By the time they get through describing all the deals ($0 money down!), I might be forgiven for thinking the new windows are free.

But the windows they push would be an expensive mistake. Original windows are one of the most important character-defining features of Glendale’s lovely older homes. The window type, profile and proportion were designed for the architectural style. Yesterday’s materials — primarily old-growth wood but also steel — are vastly superior to the materials of today. They will last as long as the house itself with proper care.

I watch homes in my neighborhood languish on the market in part because cheap, featureless windows and other exterior changes have altered the character of an older home, and this is not reflected in the asking price.


It also takes decades to earn back the cost of new windows in energy savings, because far more energy is lost through inadequate insulation in roofs and walls and through chimneys. Old windows can be retrofitted to improve their efficiency. And repair, restoration and reuse are more environmentally friendly than replacement.

On Saturday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium, the Glendale Historical Society is hosting a free Restoration Expo with some 50 exhibitor booths. Please come and talk with experts in window restoration and repair and throw away the letters from the replacement companies.

Catherine Jurca



The writer serves on the Glendale Historical Society’s board of directors.


Aside from Glendale Community College’s parking structure and the many parking spaces for GCC students, there is still limited access to payment methods at metered lots: one can only pay with coins. As a result, students who do not happen to have coins with them are unable to park there, thus forcing parking at the parking structure to overflow.

Also, the lack of parking places makes it extremely difficult and uncomfortable for visitors to the campus who are unfamiliar with the area.

GCC should improve its payment methods in the metered parking lots. The college could substitute the coin slots to multipayment machines (e.g. cards and coins) or adapt the same payment system that the GCC’s parking structure implements, where one can insert cash or card to a machine that prints out one’s parking ticket.

Cheryl Hariono




Car accidents can happen to anyone at anytime. At least once a week during my morning commute I witness reckless driving. I regularly see drivers who run stop signs and red lights. There are also drivers who are too impatient to wait for traffic and decide to pass vehicles in front of them by driving around them via the center divider or the bicycle lane.

Where are traffic enforcement officers? By increasing patrols along common routes, law enforcement would be able to pull over reckless drivers as these situations occur. Also, if fines and penalties associated with reckless driving are increased, offenders would be less likely to repeat their poor behaviors.

Elijah Cuevas


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