For most of the 20th century, the Eitel building in Minneapolis housed the sick. Eitel eventually fell into disrepair, and in October 2006, Farmington Hills, Mich.-based owner and developer Village Green Cos. began redeveloping the former hospital, giving it a new life as Eitel Building City Apartments (pictured here), a 212-unit luxury property for Twin City urbanites.

Turning historic buildings into modern living spaces is always a challenge, namely because of the approvals required by state historic preservation agencies and the U.S. National Park Service. Preservation groups focus on windows, yet there is no cookie cutter approach to finding the perfect window that complements the new space, while simultaneously pays homage to the building’s past.

Eitel, for example, did not have any of its original windows, and Village Green was not able to get its hands on the original construction documents. Fortunately, the firm’s architect located design studies which detail the project’s original windows and allowed Village Green to work with St. Louis-based Quaker Windows & Doors to fabricate custom windows for Eitel.

The end result is worth the work to find replacement windows, says Shawn Zimny, Village Green’s vice president of development. “Historic buildings have a panache that everyone loves.”

Historically Accurate: Renovating existing windows is easy with Quaker Windows & Doors’ Classic Fit series. These historically-accurate wood windows offer improved energy efficiency and performance since they are manufactured as a complete window and are sealed and airtight. These custom-sized replacements are easily inserted into existing frame openings and can be stained or painted to match historic designs. With an aluminum-clad exterior, the windows are maintenance-free and do not require painting. For more information, call Quaker Windows & Doors at 573-744-5211 or visit

Fabulous Fit: The Transcend wood product line from Hurd Windows and Doors offers an alternative to vinyl and other window replacement options. Transcend is customizable, simple to install, and features Hurd’s high-performance ComfortGlaze system with a Low-E 366 coating, triple glazing, and self-cleaning glass. For more information, call Hurd Windows and Doors at 800-433-4873 or visit

Vinyl Victory: The Haddon Signature Series portfolio from Accu-Weld combines energy efficiency, aesthetics, and performance. The windows feature a strong, durable 15-chamber, foam-filled frame that is fusion-welded from a 100 percent virgin vinyl blend. Available in a variety of grid styles, the windows boast insulating glass that results in an efficiency rating of R-3.33. For more information, call Accu-Weld at 800-782-6347 or visit

Super Slider: Built on a track system that allows door panels to open up a room while leaving the view intact, the Ultimate Lift and Slide from Marvin Windows and Doors is the company’s largest door. It is available in two configurations: pocket, which allows panels to slide into a wall opening, completely disappearing from view; or stacked, which allows door panels to neatly stack together to create the illusion of only one panel. The doors are available in 19 clad colors, five wood species, and three hardware finishes. For more information, call Marvin Windows and Doors at 888-537-7828 or visit

Custom Creations: Kolbe offers made-to-order double-hung, wood windows as part of its new Majesta line. Available in sizes as large as 6 feet by 12 feet with high-performance glass, the windows are custom-made with balances matched to the size and weight of the sash. Several types of divided lites are available, as are matching single-hung, radius, and cottage-style units. A wide range of optional wood species is available, along with a selection of hardware, colors, and finishes. For more information, call Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. at 715-842-5666 or visit

Light Hearted: Simpson Door Co.’s exterior French and Sash doors and sidelights now feature Simpson Simulated Divided Lites (SDL). SDL doors feature a single-insulated glass unit, allowing them to achieve higher energy efficiency ratings and meet hurricane and design pressure requirements. The bars are 7/8-inches thick and come in two profiles—ViewSaver and Shaker—and multiple wood species or PVC for use with Simpson WaterBarrier Technology. For more information, call Simpson Door Co. at 800-746-7766 or visit