New Windows with an Old Twist

November 7, 2019

Ohio University’s “The Ridges” building complex is getting some new windows with a familiar face. Graham is proud to play a role in restoring a part of this historic site’s magnificence.


An Intriguing History

The site opened in 1874 as the Athens Lunatic Asylum, one of numerous psychiatric hospitals built according to the “Kirkbride Plan” in the mid-to-late-19th century. This spreading “bat wing” style floor plan was designed to insure patients were granted adequate exposure to natural light and air circulation.

Example of a Kirkbride Plan


Despite its well-intentioned design, the early years of the asylum reflected the primitive state of mental health treatment at the time. As medical science improved during the 20th century there was a public shift in the perception of asylums as unnecessarily cruel, prison-like institutions.

Archaic practices such as hydrotherapy, shock therapy, and lobotomies came to be seen as inhumane. This led to a decline in the usage of large Kirkbride facilities across the United States and many of them followed a pattern of abandonment and deterioration.

It also contributed to a spooky aura that “haunts” such Kirkbride locations since.

In the 1980’s the property (by then called the Athens Mental Health Center) was the subject of a naming contest to redefine its image, becoming “The Ridges.”

By the early 90’s much of the property had fallen into disrepair. Over the years the site became an attraction for paranormal enthusiasts and urban explorers. The hospital continued operations until closing its doors in 1993, at which time it was deeded to Ohio University.

Since coming under the care of the university The Ridges has seen much better days. The former administration portion of the hospital is now Lin Hall and houses the school’s Kennedy Museum of American Art. It also includes the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, an auditorium, and office and storage space. The Ridges is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

It’s currently under further restoration and that’s where Graham comes in.


Up in Your Grille

The most difficult and unique part of replicating the old windows was accommodating the historic cast iron grilles that adorn the bottom lites. The university was determined to maintain the aesthetic properly and brought in a historic consultant to assist the effort.

The grilles weighed between 13-15 pounds per square foot, roughly 3 times as heavy as insulated glass, and would need to be carried in part at the panning.

Tim Davis, project manager for AR Design and a Graham Architectural Products rep, described the challenge. “Because the grilles were existing components that had a certain width, we had to design the sizing of the window to respect the grille.” Davis continued, “there wasn’t much clearance between the edge of the grilles and the brick, so we wrestled with that.”

Graham’s designers made custom modifications to the panning system to receive the grilles, including a special strap anchor that attaches to the window jambs.

Said Davis, “We worked with HGC Construction making the support clips and retainer clips to hold the grilles and put them in, and also make them so the university can take them out. So if somebody breaks a lite of glass or they need to do something with the window five years from now, the clips are made so they can raise them and take the grilles out and have access to the outside of the window.”

Graham provided over 300 of it’s 2200 Series Single Hung and 1200 Series Fixed windows for the project.

To find out more about the Graham window products used on this project, contact Bruce Croak, Graham’s marketing manager.

Installation Guides

October 17, 2019

As a reminder to all our website visitors:
Over the course of the last year and a half the Graham team has met regularly to draft installation manuals for a majority of our products. These manuals are intended to assist …

CONSTRUCT AEC Education & Expo

October 4, 2019

Come visit Graham at booth # 1048 next week for the CONSTRUCT AEC Education & Expo.

Graham’s Design Savvy Featured in Architectural Products Magazine

September 27, 2019

The September edition of Architectural Products magazine features Graham’s work on 10 Provost, a residential hi-rise in Jersey City, NJ. The project presented a unique design challenge pitting building codes against one another, and Graham was tasked with providing a …

Graham Part of Two More Award-Winning Projects

September 12, 2019

Accolades continue to pour in for projects involving Graham Architectural Products.
We are delighted to announce that two of our recent projects will be recognized with Metamorphosis Awards in the November/December edition of retrofit magazine.
Graham was part of the …

Former Cadillac Showroom Vrooms Back to Life

August 2, 2019

The nearly 100-year-old building at 6001 Cass Avenue, Detroit, Michigan will soon assume a new identity and Graham is proud to provide more than 870 windows to this beautiful adaptive rehabilitation project.
Built in 1920, the structure was originally known …

UPDATE: 49-51 Chambers Street

July 15, 2019

New Photos!
We’re excited to share some new photography of the landmark building at 49-51 Chambers Street New York, NY.
Graham provided over a thousand windows for the project. Included are the S2200 Historic Double Hung, S6800 In-swing Casement, S1400 …

Lead Caming

June 25, 2019

We recently visited the factory floor and shot a short video of our factory workers applying lead caming to simulate window muntins (grids).
These S1400 Series offset fixed windows simulate operable hung windows. They will be installed at the University …

Lucy G. Moses Award is Proof of a Dream Come True

June 11, 2019

Lucy G. Moses Award is Proof of a Dream Come True

If, as Maurice Benor once said, the Starrett Lehigh Building is “a window man’s dream,” a recent postal delivery confirmed his dream came true.
For years, the Graham …

Edison Village Update

June 3, 2019

Edison Village, the ambitious adaptive re-use project, is filling up with occupants. Graham has been proud to contribute nearly 2,500 custom S6800 series windows to accommodate the historic requirements and the large sizes. We initially wrote about the project last …