In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Leavenworth, Kansas was know as “The Manufacturing Metropolis of the Midwest”. It was easily the most important manufacturing city in Kansas and one of the largest in the U.S.A. During the turn of the century, Leavenworth had production plants supporting 67 different industries, including furniture, washing machines, mill-related machinery and amusement rides. Leavenworth was also the 2nd leading city in the manufacturing of stoves thanks to Great Western Stove Company, which produced wood, coal and eventually gas burning stoves between the 1870s and 1940s. During the peak of their operations, they would produce 15 tons of iron daily from their two foundries. Eventually the iron stove market waned but the buildings would stay busy. A successful tire company occupied them until they moved in 2005. It was around then that developers began working with Leavenworth city officials on a plan to refurbish the Great Western Stove buildings into a complex of residential apartments and offices. The $25 million project was finalized soon thereafter but would actually take several years to get started due to the economic recession and tax credit complications.
Once the project began, one of the challenges posed by restoration was finding windows that matched every aspect. First, the windows had to be historically-correct in profile. Next, the window’s limitations had to allow for extremely tall sizes – some more than 10” tall. Lastly, the windows had to be a rare operational make-up; Triple Hung.
Quaker’s new H500 Series Triple Hung window was up to the task on all fronts, including a thumbs up from the National Park Service, which oversees historical replication. More than 210 H500 Triple Hung windows were supplied over the course of 3 months in several phases.
The first building of the newly christened Stove Factory Lofts was completed in early 2014. Other phases finalized later that year. Nearly 100 living units now make up the complex in downtown Leavenworth, with 10,000 sq.ft. of office space also available.