Wooden Window

Craftsmanship making history.

May 2012 Newsletter

May 21, 2012
CPF demo image

 Even severe water damage doesn’t have to be the end of the line for doors and windows. Restoration professionals like Wooden Window and Simpson Gumpertz & Heger know how to give historic windows a new lease on life.April 3rd through the 5th, the California Preservation Foundation held its 2012 Conference in Oakland California.

Wooden Window, with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, hosted a breakout workshop that gave participants a fair chance in the battle of water against wood — and what to do if they lose, even if only temporarily.After an introduction and presentation on the basic components of how water reacts to wood, and a discussion of ASTM standards and procedures for window testing, participants broke out into small groups for in-the-shop demonstrations of steam stripping, CNC architectural profile matching, glazing, puttying and epoxy repair of severely degraded wood components.

The day wrapped up as Janelle Leafblad of Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger and her colleague demonstrated standardized testing procedures for window integrity against water on both restored and new windows.It was a lot to take in, and participants got their money’s worth, both in the demonstrations themselves and in the opportunity to question and chat with the presenters. A successful day all around.


Photographer David Wakely

The Fresno Community College building that housed the college’s theater and historic administration offices had been boarded up for more than 30 years, when ELS Architecture and Urban Design were brought in to drive a $39.2 million dollar rehabilitation of the facility – winning the 2012 AIA Preservation Merit Award.The 1916 Old Administration Building, a National Landmark, was the first permanent structure for Fresno State College. Saved by a local bond issue, the building now houses classrooms for 2,000 students, an auditorium, and community spaces.Wooden Window preserved over 800 windows and 100 doors – refurbishing, reglazing and restoring the doors and windows to contemporary safety standards.

Units that could not be rehabilitated, including 18 floor-to-ceiling windows, were recreated “perfect to match”, improving the original acoustics of the building spaces. Wooden Window also fabricated 120 new doors made to precisely match their original counterparts – meeting safety and ADA standards and helping to define the new classroom spaces.
There are few things as deeply satisfying as taking a piece of history and renewing its life for generations to come.Wooden Window is honored to have been able to develop the experience and expertise that allow us to be a part of this valuable work.

For one senior resident of Oakland, California, her 85th birthday will be one to remember. A program called Rebuilding Together Oakland (RTO) and the Piedmont Community Service crew, aided by donations from community-committed companies, transformed Louise and her husband Dick’s old and dilapidated house into a home that will accommodate their special needs, keep the couple safe and be a joy to live in.Louise and her husband have been living in the home for 50 years, but as those years passed the house was showing its age. Floors were in disrepair, their modest back yard had gone wild, windows were no longer secure and neighborhood crime was becoming a more and more distressing issue. Also, Dick, who suffers from dementia, had become bedridden and unable to negotiate the house’s stairs.

RTO supplied volunteer labor and donated materials — including security doors and restored windows provided by Wooden Window Inc. of Oakland — refinished floors, built a modest garden and deck, repainted the home and provided a ramp and handrails so that Dick would be able to get to his medical appointments. And best of all, they finished the job on April 28th, 2012 — just in time to give Louise a very special 85th birthday present.

At Wooden Window, we were happy to help. As Mark Christiansen, Wooden Window’s Vice President of Engineering puts it, “It is great to give back to those in need in our community. Projects like these are when I don’t mind taking work home with me. It was great to donate the materials and time to make this couple’s home safer, more comfortable as their lifestyles change, and something to be proud of again.”Wooden Window would like to congratulate Louise and Dick, and thank the generous and committed volunteers of Rebuilding Together Oakland for their tireless efforts and their wonderful commitment to the Oakland community. Nice work all.


Join us at:

Wooden Window
849 29th Street
Oakland, California


Every interior designer likes to work on prestigious homes, but what do you do when someone offers you a castle? Come have breakfast on us, build some new connections and make some new friends as our speaker, Scott Cunningham, shares with us his work on the Sam Mazza Castle. On June 6th, Wooden Window and its partners IOA Insurance Agents will be hosting the latest in our series of Community Networking Breakfasts, at Wooden Windows manufacturing facility in Oakland, California.

Our featured speaker will be interior designer Scott Cunningham.  Scott is an ASID Allied Member and  a Certified Green Builder. He will be sharing examples of his work, and discussing the key aspects of the contractor/designer relationship.  He’ll also take us on a tour his interior design of the Sam Mazza Castle in Pacifica, California, for which Wooden Window provided restoration services and replacement doors and windows.

The castle itself has a wonderful history, from its creation by Henry Harrison McCloskey and architect Charles MacDougal as an “earthquake-proof” reminder of Emily McCloskey’s childhood years in Scotland, to its incarnation as a 1922 speakeasy called the Chateau Lafayette.  The castle has been a Coast Guard communications center, saw a brief, if questionable period as a “retreat for girls and women unwilling to become mothers”, and finally became the home of Annie Eakin and her 20 cats.

The building was eventually purchased by San Francisco painting and interior decorating contractor Sam Mazza. Although he never actually lived in the home, Sam saw to it that, on his death, the building would be retained and a portion of his estate would be used to create a charitable foundation. Today, the Sam Mazza foundation operates out of the castle.


CPF Workshop Cabinet-Door Table
CPF Workshop
Cabinet-Door Table

About the author: Wooden Window
Since 1980, Wooden Window has been constructing and restoring fine and custom-made wooden doors and windows for residences and commercial buildings throughout California. Whether a homeowner or building pro, you’ll appreciate our decades of experience and unique mix of craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.
About Wooden Window

Since 1980, Wooden Window has been restoring and constructing fine wooden doors and windows for residences and commercial buildings throughout California.

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