New windows at Holy Name replicate the originals

When Holy Name of Jesus students return to their classrooms next month, a major enhancement to their campus is likely to go unnoticed.

Sixty-five windows gracing the iconic red brick school might look like they have been there forever, but they actually are newly installed reproductions of the building’s original wood frame windows, constructed in 1932.

“The new windows look exactly the same (as the old ones); however, they are cleaner, sharper and will reduce heat transfers to the interior,” said Connie Kramer, who oversaw the 10-month window replacement project as assistant director of the archdiocesan Building Office.

Built to last, reduce costs

Made of extruded aluminum, the new windows are visible from the main schoolyard and line six bays on all three floors of the LaSalle Place side of campus. Boasting factory-glazed laminated glass, they are more energy efficient than their 82-year-old predecessors and are impact resistant, designed to withstand International Building Code requirements for wind loads of up to 135 mph.

Kramer said great care was taken by architects to mimic the two original designs: a three-over-three, single-hung sash window, topped by a three-light transom; and a narrower, two-over-two, single-hung sash window.

“The windows are accurate reproductions based on adequate historical and physical documentation of the original units,” said Kramer, noting that the school building, designed by architects Rathbone De Buys and E.A. Christy, lies within the Uptown New Orleans National Register Historic District. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places at the state level for its architectural significance, she added.

“The (new) windows were required to match the existing profile and elevations and to be in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation,” Kramer said.

Special attention was given to the sill profiles, glazing patterns, frames, lintels, glazing and the width and depth of the muntins – the strips that separate and hold together the glass panes.

“An additional drip line was added to the sash detail as a custom feature – to retain the character-defining element of the existing windows,” Kramer said.

FEMA funded

Already in poor condition because of their age and New Orleans’ unrelenting climate, the former windows were dealt a final blow by Hurricane Katrina. The cost of the project – $416,092.86 – was funded entirely by FEMA’s Public Assistance Program.

The window replacement project, completed June 1, was coordinated by the Building Office in conjunction with New Orleans architect Michael Cajski of the firm Volume Zero. McInerney and Associates of Nashville was the general contractor.

Beth Donze can be reached at

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