Vinyl Windows OK’d For Atlantic Hotel

BERLIN – The Berlin Historic District Commission voted this week to allow the installation of vinyl windows on the second floor of the Atlantic Hotel.

In spite of concerns from one member who thought the existing wooden windows could be repaired, the commission voted 4-1 to approve the installation of vinyl windows on the second floor of the historic hotel. Commission member Betty Tustin praised the efforts operator John Fager had made to preserve the establishment.

“You go out of your way to make sure the hotel represents the historic nature of the town,” she said. “Sometimes you just have to take a step away from the old.”

Commission member Rick Stack was the sole opposition to Fager’s plan to replace damaged wooden windows on the second floor of the hotel with vinyl windows. Stack said he’d looked at the windows and thought most could be repaired.

“The key is to restore these windows,” he said. “By properly maintaining these windows, they’re going to be as energy efficient as any replacement window.”

Stack also pointed out that when the issue of hotel windows came up in 2010, contractor Larry Widgeon told the commission the building at that time had its original window sashes that were more than 120 years old. He said vinyl replacement windows wouldn’t last more than a couple decades.

Fager said the idea of retrofitting the windows was not feasible because “they’re failing.”

Commission member Mary Moore said restoring windows was a laborious process. She said that passersby looking up at the upper part of the hotel wouldn’t even be able to tell that the new windows weren’t wood.

When the public was provided the chance to speak on the issue, Barb Stack reiterated the concerns voiced by her husband.

“What Rick and I are concerned about is the Town of Berlin has been promoted as a historic town,” she said. “I’m concerned we’re losing our historic designation. The owners of the hotel and the town need to research this before we start to do things to the keystone of this town. I understand there are maintenance issues but at the same time we need to preserve what we have so we’re not putting plastic all over everything.”

The commission also approved, in the same 4-1 vote, a plan by Taylor Bank to install vinyl windows as replacements for damaged wooden ones.