When it comes to historic buildings, the past is always right in front of us. Whether it’s a worn parquet floor or heavy molding or wavy leaded-glass windows, the past decisions of craftspeople and homeowners whose lives and daily rhythms shaped the space they lived in affect how we move through and perceive our own world today.
No organization understands this better than the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which is responsible for saving places across the nation. In the past, we have helped sponsor its annual preservation conference. Threats to historic buildings run the gamut – from people who haven’t learned to appreciate them to a lack of resources for maintaining them. But the NTHP also recognizes climate change and the peril of rising seas as a danger and has helped foster discussions on the subject.
That’s something Indow deeply cares about and consequently works hard to make the built environment more energy efficient since commercial and residential buildings account for 41 percent of energy use in the United States. In doing so, we’re also saving historic windows, which are crucial to preserving the character and history of homes and buildings. A stately 150-year-old structure with new double-pane vinyl windows has lost something significant. Preserving windows that give a slight warp to the world keeps the soul of a building intact, which shapes how we see what’s around us.
We can keep our history and make buildings energy efficient at the same time. Appreciation for the past combined with a vision for the future is all that’s needed.