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Crystal Windows key to Jersey City historic restoration

Windows and Doors

Crystal Windows key to Jersey City historic restoration

Landmark repurposed for retail, offices, art studios, and loft apartments.


By Crystal Window and Door Systems | January 19, 2022
150 Bay Street, Jersey City, N.J.,
More than 500 custom-made windows were designed, manufactured, and installed by Crystal Window & Door Systems at 150 Bay Street, a landmark mixed-use property in Jersey City, N.J.

Crystal Window & Door Systems products played a major role in the recent restoration and repurposing of a landmark building in Jersey City, N.J. The 10-story building at 150 Bay Street used 515 custom-modified Crystal windows on all four façades to retain the appearance and character of the 113-year-old historic structure.

The 150 Bay Street rehabilitation included the restoration of the brick and masonry façade, ornate roof cornice, and cantilevered cable-supported loading dock shed roofs. Replacing the antiquated wood windows with a modern window system that retained the historic characteristics of the building added to the challenge.

150 Bay Street Building rehab with crystal windows
National manufacturer Crystal Window & Door Systems created a custom historic window system for the renovation and repurposing of 150 Bay Street, Jersey City, N.J., a landmark property.

Crystal Window & Door Systems worked closely with the fenestration installer, BlueSky Windows, and the project architect and general contractor. Crystal fast-tracked the concept of, design, and fabrication of a custom window system solution which met and exceeded the project’s historic restoration requirements.

Custom-modified window system

The Crystal custom-modified window system replicates the original tall double-hung wood windows with a unique modern energy-efficient vertically stacked twin project-out awning aluminum window.

To truly deliver the project’s historic look, Crystal’s engineers used the resources of the company’s aluminum supply partners and its extrusion subsidiary to custom produce a special-frame variant of a standard projected window product, fabricate a 3-piece simulated divided light system, and replicate a historic-look sash with a 1-inch putty-line-look glazing bead as well as historic panning.

The 150 Bay Street project used Crystal’s Series 8620 Project-Out Awning windows. The Series 8620 windows were ordered in 2-lite vertically-stacked configurations and custom modified to suit the historic appearance requirements of the renovation project. With the building’s 14-foot-high loft ceiling heights, the windows are all very tall, the largest being 58½ inches wide by 81 inches high.

The Crystal Series 8620 is a top-of-the-line 3¼-inch thermal-broken frame awning window with an AW-PG80 rating. The energy-efficient window features 1” dual-pane insulated glass with warm edge spacer and argon filling, as well as two rows of bulb weatherstripping around the sash perimeter.

The Crystal Series 8620 offers cam lock handles and four-bar HS/SS friction hinges to hold the sash in open positions. Optional sash opening limit devices were also specified.

Bay Street crystal windows close up
Crystal Window & Door Systems stacked project-out aluminum windows and crafted a custom applied grid system to replicate the look of the building’s original double-hung wood windows.

To meet the project’s historic specifications, Crystal made several custom modifications to the Series 8620. To emulate the building’s original wood windows, Crystal designed custom sash and frame extrusions, which its supply partners fabricated.

While the 2-lite stacked awning windows replicate the horizontal meeting rail of the original double-hung windows, each sash used special custom vertical simulated divided light (SDL) components to improve the historic aesthetics. The SDL components consisted of a standard colonial ⅝” between-the-glass grid with aligned 1¾-inch raised trapezoidal profile colonial tape-on aluminum grids affixed to the interior and exterior glass.

The project also required Crystal to produce several custom aluminum historic panning extrusions for the head, jamb, and sill of the window openings. All the Crystal windows, panning, grid components, and visible installation accessories were finished in a two-tone special Arroyo Red exterior and white interior to enhance the historic appearance of the building.

Key players for the Bay Street renovation project included fenestration installer BlueSky Windows and architect Fifield-Piaker-Elman Architects, both of New York City.

Three floors devoted to student housing

The repurposed 10-story, 203,000-square-foot building at 150 Bay Street now features ground-floor retail, art studio workspaces on the second floor, and business offices on the third floor. The upper floors are residential loft apartments, with three floors used by Nyack College as student residences, and luxury penthouses on the top floor.

Besides its historic, retro exterior, the building has many new features such as a roof patio, lounge areas, and a fitness center. The building is located in the Powerhouse Arts District, a lively artisan and business enclave in Jersey City.

Part of the resurgence of the state’s second largest city of over 250,000 residents, the Powerhouse Arts District has cobblestone streets, rehabbed former industrial buildings, shops, coffee houses, restaurants, bars, outdoor streetscape spaces, and art galleries.

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