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Starksboro Meeting House windows restored

WITH GREAT LOVE and care the 180-year-old Starksboro Village Meeting House is undergoing a gradual restoration. In 2020 the building's original windows, which are more than 16 feet tall, were cleaned, stripped of their lead paint and reglazed. This summer they'll be paired with custom-built storm windows.

STARKSBORO — The pandemic may have canceled Starksboro Village Meeting House events and fundraisers over the past year, but building renovation work has continued apace.
The 1840 building’s original windows have now been restored.
“The result is quite striking,” said Meeting House board member Keegan Tierney. “The windows hadn’t been cleaned in probably 40 years.” The stained glass colors are more vibrant, he added, and the new glazing and paint make the lines appear tighter and clearer.
In all, 10 Meeting House windows were restored this past year: eight 16-feet-tall windows on the sides of the building and two arch windows on the front.
Each pane of the stained-glass windows was glazed, so restoration involved detailed work, Tierney said. Some of the glass had lost its glazing and fallen out.
Heritage Environmental Projects won the bid for the project and transported the windows to its South Burlington shop to do the work, which included lead paint remediation.
The restored and newly reinstalled windows not only look better now, but they’ll also reduce drafts in the 180-year-old building, which should increase energy efficiency.
More efficiency will be gained later this year with the addition of custom-designed storm windows, which the Meeting House board plans to order this month from a firm in the Midwest that specializes in windows that meet National Park Service historic building guidelines.
The only real hurdle to the project was the pandemic, Tierney said.
“We had priced out the storm windows before COVID hit,” he explained. “After COVID hit, the price of glass went through the roof, and the price of the storms went up by a few thousand dollars pretty much overnight.”
As it stands now, Tierney estimated the overall Meeting House window project will cost roughly $42,000.
The Vermont Preservation Trust helped jumpstart the project with a $5,000 grant, and the Meeting House has gotten a great response from the community, both in terms of fundraising and labor.
Once the storm windows are ready — the turnaround time is typically about a month, Tierney said — a group of volunteers will install them.
The Meeting House group hopes to host a volunteer painting day this summer.
“We’ve been working for a while to get the building back into aesthetic shape,” Tierney said.
Other renovation projects remain — the bell tower and steeples being the biggest ones — but the Meeting House board’s next step will be community engagement.
“The board’s mission is not only to preserve the building’s historic character but also to maintain it for public use,” Tierney said.
With a capacity of just under 100, the Starksboro Village Meeting House is a great venue for such events as weddings, concerts and talks, Tierney added, but the board is open to suggestions of all kinds, and use of the building is not limited to Starksboro residents.
Ideas and requests may be emailed to [email protected].
To learn more to make a donation, visit starksboromeetinghouse.org or visit the Meeting House’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
The Starksboro Village Meeting House is part of a growing focus on town and community that has emerged in recent years.
“People are excited about the town center and about ways to do indoor/outdoor activities,” Tierney said. “A community group is starting to gel. Starksboro is at an exciting juncture.”
Reach Christopher Ross at [email protected].

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