Frank Lloyd Wright loved windows but the materials he used did not provide good window thermal insulation. And there’s probably no one who understands this better than the architect John Eifler. He has spent decades restoring Frank Lloyd Wright homes for clients. And now he owns one himself: the Ross House in Glencoe, Illinois in a small 1915 subdivision of six homes planned by Wright’s attorney, Sherman Booth Jr.
But most people knew it simply as “The Purple House” when Eifler bought it in 2011.
The house had stood vacant for several years when he purchased it. It had heavy lilac trim. And a number of other problems including no heat or running water. The exterior had been covered in a plastic stucco that didn’t let the house breathe.
But the painstaking restoration he did was worth it. A final detail involved providing window thermal insulation for the classic Wright patterned, single-pane leaded glass windows on the second floor. Not wanting to cover them up with exterior storms, he ordered 15 Indow inserts from the company’s Chicago-area dealer, GREENheart Buildings Inc. Michael Ruehle came out to laser-measure these special windows to ensure a precise fit.
The inserts solved the problem.
“The window inserts are working well and I like the look… they’re pretty invisible, and one can still see the exterior window sash, which is great,” he said.
“Our house is much less drafty and the geothermal furnace does not kick on as often, so it’s quieter. Plus, the commuter train isn’t too far away, and now we barely hear it.”
Edged in Indow’s patented Compression Tubing, the Indow inserts press into the window frames without a damaging track or magnetic system. And that mattered because Eifler is particular about windows. He and his significant other, Bonnie Phoenix, reconditioned all the ones in the Ross House themselves, taking the hinges off, laying them on a workbench, removing the glass and stripping the purple paint with a heat gun. Then he sanded and stained them.
He didn’t want to do anything to mar the iconic original windows and was glad he found a simple solution. “These are exciting properties,” he said of Frank Lloyd Wright homes. “Frank Lloyd Wright looked at things much differently than other people. He was sensitive to windows and having natural light and views.”
Indow inserts are sold nationwide, and are custom-made for a precise fit of a building's window frames. Interested in blocking drafts and enjoying greater peace and comfort in your home? Click and we can connect you with the Indow representative in your area for a free estimate!