From Phipps and Back Again: A Circular Reuse Journey

Blog, Inventory | Posted on: August 19, 2020
Salvaged greenhouse windows from Phipps Conservatory on display at CJ.

This is one of those stories that is only possible because so many people come together to make #reuse happen!

Way back in the early CJ days, we were fortunate enough to get a call from Phipps Conservatory to save a number of windows being replaced on the 9 room glasshouse during the large renovation and expansion project that took place between 2003-06. The wood-framed vent windows that made up the side walls of the various rooms, many with arched glass, were removed to be upgraded to make the conservatory more sustainable and to achieve their U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver status.

Phipps Conservatory image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Phipps Conservatory image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

After being donated to CJ, these windows then made their way to the Garden Dreams Nursery space in Wilkinsburg. Plans to use them in a greenhouse project unfortunately never came to fruition. Last year, Garden Dreams owner and CJ alum Mindy Schwartz, co-founder of Grow Pittsburgh, decided to donate the nursery to the Allegheny Land Trust in order to transition the property to a new urban farm and greenhouse location for Grow Pittsburgh.

And that brings the full circle journey of these Phipps windows back to CJ. After a re-donation, we again (15 years later!) have a very sizable selection of these Victorian greenhouse windows in a variety of shapes and sizes. Featuring a simple but very sturdy framed construction (most likely cypress or white pine, could be some cedar) with individually glazed frosted panes and simple profiled edge trim. Take a look through the available selection. Make sure to contact us if you have any questions.

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