Steel windows with muntins, Virginia Avenue State Bank building, 630 Virginia Avenue
Muntin. I was recently asked about this architectural term and figured it would be a great one to feature for today’s Building Language. A muntin is a term used to describe the piece of wood or metal that serves to hold the edges of a single window pane within an entire window sash. To clarify even further, muntins separate individual pieces of glass within one single window frame. The piece of wood or metal helps hold the piece of glass in place, while often providing some type of architectural detail or visual contrast. Unfortunately, when historic windows are replaced, the muntin design is often laid over a single sheet of glass to give the same visual effect, but no longer provides the separation of glass panes. However, historic window restoration or rehabilitation can include the retention of the original window muntins while using replacement or contemporary glass.
The Virginia Avenue State Bank building (630 Virginia Avenue) features some wonderful original steel windows with individual panes of glass separated by steel muntins (the framing between each glass pane as seen in black). The steel muntins feature a unique profile, which is part of the historic character of these historic windows.
A residential example takes us to the 5700 block of East Lowell Avenue in the Irvington neighborhood of Indianapolis. This residence features steel windows with an unique muntin design, creating a larger square with several other smaller squares and rectangles. The center square appears operational, allowing the windows to open, while the muntin details around the center square add some architectural interest.
Add it to your vocabulary – how might one use today’s Building Language term in their everyday life?
The steel windows feature a unique muntin design which will have to be retained.