Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Changing of the Guard

HA! And you think I'm talking about London. But no, I digress.

This was a story in the making yesterday when the workers came to our Hannover apartment building to change out the wee tiny windows that you see here on the left. This is the back side of the 4 stories (65 steps!), opposite the street. The bottom roof with windows is our building entrance behind the alley and in the courtyard.

Uschi told me that the 100-year-old iron-framed windows were "too cold." And since she and Wolfgang are forever doing projects to keep this building up to snuff, it was a needed project, she said!

There are actually 4 of these windows, one on top of the other at each landing, approximately 1 x 2.4 feet each. They're all in tiny closet rooms that used to be for toilets years ago (until they added bathrooms to the units?). That top left window is in the landing closet before the 9 steps up to our attic apartment. It's where our vacuum cleaner is. And those 2 windows to the right are the landing windows that give us light. The top window on the far right belongs to the apartment next to ours.

Okay, then. Here's the entire process before your very eyes, all done in one easy day's work! Uschi says these are the smallest windows they make.

Iron-framed window before and after being removed.

The before and after windows.

Chipping out the old; bringing in the new.

Setting the new frame in place.

Yup, the new ones work just fine.

And now, the finished project! See--the changing of the guard! They remind me of sentry windows, keeping watch over our building night and day. Day and night.

Appropriately, yesterday was the day I switched from old to new Blogger. YAY! No major hassles to report whatsoever...yet. Now I'm contemplating changing my template, in spite of the fact that all the good ones are taken. I may end up looking like one of you. :)


[Addendum on 3/4/07] The day after I published this post, landlady Uschi sent me this pic that she took from outside when I was carefully looking everything over. It really was a fun project, from beginning to end, so I clearly need to include this pic. :)


  1. I think Rodger would find this blog of interest, don't you?

    What are they doing with the old windows? I hope they aren't just getting rid of them! They're very cool frames. I bet Lesley or Ruth could come up with some incredible use for them.

  2. OMG, Shari. I never once thought of Rodger. You are so right. And I never once thought of what they would do with the old frames! What was I thinking??? I just asked my landlords and they're going to check with the workmen. They're quite sure they just throw them away. Maybe we'll get lucky!!

  3. I love to see the evolution of works on a house! It has always fascinated moi! Hhehhehe! :) Seems the workers were goooood! (It's not always like that!) And be careful if you want to change the look of your blog. I did that with "Merlin und Princesse" and I lost all the things in my sidebar. My addresses, my links...all! So with Photos et Réflexions, I prefered to stay with the html code only. But as I have the black template, it's easier to change the colours..... I must add that since I work with the new blogger version (in my FOUR other blogs...hhehehe) it's realy easy to change the look of the blog....

  4. I really liked seeing this process through with you! Was it cold with the window "open"?

    I wonder if this is like the little toilet room we had in Istanbul. It was just a "Turkish" toilet in the floor, but we used it for a broom closet. Ours didn't have a window though.

  5. It always surprises me how the european windows can go in any direction - lean out, or swing out. Takes me forever to figure out, but what a good idea!
    I'm glad you switched to new blogger! it makes commenting so much easier :)

  6. MP: It really was fun to watch and they did seem to do a great job. I have made a couple copies of my present template and hope that if I change templates, it will be easy to add the sidebar by copying and pasting. Am I thinking right??? I guess I need to see what new things I now have to change the look of my blog. Your template, BTW (like Ruth's) is one of my favorites thus far. BooHoo. I probably can't copy my sister's! :(

    Ruth: When this project was done yesterday, it was cold but just in the hallways. And luckily, there was no rain during the process. If they had waited till today, they would have had rain off and on all day long. The little closet is big enough for a toilet (like what we're used to) but no sink or anything else.

    RRD: It was a riot when we first had to figure out how to use our windows here. It was NOT intuitive and we felt so dumb. So I definitely know what you mean!

    How is commenting easier, I wonder, with New Blogger. I haven't a clue.

  7. Hi Ginnie! Just saw your comment on Karen's blog. The world is getting smaller and smaller! :)

  8. OMG, Julia. How fun to find you here from off SC. YES. The world IS getting smaller and smaller. :)

    BUT. I don't read or write German! I know that's terrible to say but it's true. I may have to put your URL into a translation program to read it! Which is your main blog of the 2?

  9. Oh I love those little weency windows! They really are adorable!

  10. It's fun making an interesting story out of something commonly thought of as ordinary. Great job!

  11. Oh I was worried that the windows would not look right with a modern style insert, but it's not bad. Those old windows look wonderful stacked there. They belong in a garden or somewhere with shabby chic decor. I really hope they weren't just thrown out. I especially like the pebbled texture of the glass.

  12. Dixie: What a great word: weency! I love it. And yes, they really were adorable--enough so to make a post out of them. :)

    Tim: An ordinary job with UNordinary windows. :)

    Karen: What was I thinking about to not ask what would happen to the old windows! I guess I was too busy trying to document it all with pics. Sigh. Uschi says they have indeed all been thrown out by the workers, apparently never to be retrieved again. (But I secretly wonder if they sell them to some antique store??)

  13. Wow, I didn't know they still made windows that "weency". :-) The old ones are lovely, but everyone's going for energy efficiency these days and the new ones will certainly keep the wind out.

    In the apartment house we lived in from 1990 - 1995 there was also a little room on the landing (called "halb unten" - "halfway down") and it had definitely been used as a "water closet" for both apartments on our floor. By the time we moved in they had remodelled so we had our own bathroom, thank goodness. Mr M say it used to be that people didn't even have bathtubs or showers and would go to the local swimming pool once a week to bathe. :-)

  14. Hi Ginnie,
    I usually post bilingual on my blog with only a few excemptions. Just have a look.
    The Blogger blog is my main blog.

  15. Too bad that those nice windows may have been disposed of to the dump. People like NEW and MODERN and UP TO DATE... sometimes forgetting that old and used can be just as charming.

  16. Christina: Ahh. So you certainly know what I'm talking about! Our landlords are also planning to insulate the attic spaces above us this summer. So they are clearly trying to do their part to be efficient!

    Julia: I don't know why I missed the English translation the first time around. But I've found it now. Thanks!

    Ex-S: And to think I never once thought to ask because one set would have been so cool to take home!