Attention to Detail from Start to Finish Garners Award for Universal Window and Door

June 2020 – Recently, Universal Window and Door (UWD) manufactured 470 custom historic replica windows for one of the oldest mill buildings in Lowell. The former site of Comfort Furniture and Bedding, the mill was constructed in 1882 for Hood’s Sarsaparilla Laboratory. As part of Phase One of the Thorndike Exchange project, developed by the Lupoli Companies, the mill has been converted into a mixed-use complex, including apartments, commercial space, a restaurant and a coffee shop.

Thousands of UWD replacement windows have been installed in historical renovation projects throughout New England for more than 50 years. Attention to quality and detail has garnered the company accolades and awards from historical and preservation associations as well as from the construction industry and developers.

The Thorndike Exchange project is no exception. The Builders and Remodelers of Greater Boston (BRAGB) recognized the excellence of the project with a silver award for best historical renovation at the PRISM Awards Gala held in October 2019 at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. The PRISM awards recognize achievements in building and design.


Thorndike Exchange Project – Phase One

No surprise that UWD is an award-winning company. Working closely with developers, contractors, architects and others in the industry, UWD knows the importance of quality and attention to detail – from the application process through completion. According to Joe Zaino, a UWD sales manager, “Because time is money for real estate developers, it is crucial to get the necessary approvals early on in a project. The approval process, combined with the time required to manufacture the windows, can be time consuming. Taking the time up front to gain approvals ensures that tax credits aren’t lost, and that projects can be completed on time and on budget.”

“While preservationists from small town historic commissions to the National Park Service (NPS) are generally eager to see these structures restored, coming into compliance with historic requirements can present a myriad of challenges for developers. One of these challenges is replacing old windows in a cost-effective manner that doesn’t alter the historic character of the building. While many historic commissions have become more broad-minded in the approval process and now consider factors such as energy efficiency, developers should never take the window approval process for granted.”

Joe concludes, “As manufacturers of historically accurate aluminum replica windows, Universal Window and Door works closely with historic consultants and architects who specialize in commercial historic restoration projects,” with award-winning results.

Universal Window and Door provides custom solutions for the restoration and renovation of historic and other existing buildings. UWD also has a full line of products for new construction – commercial, institutional and residential.  To read more about UWD’s product lines, capabilities, and other projects, please visit

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about the author
about the author
Dave SchneiderPartner

Dave Schneider is a partner with River Birch. Dave, a Connecticut native, has been investing in middle market companies for over 20 years, working closely with owners and management teams to grow their business.