On Sept. 6-8, 2019, Heritage Works had the pleasure of welcoming Bob Yapp, national window restoration expert and former host of About Your House, for a wood window restoration presentation and workshop.

The weekend commenced with a four hour overview workshop at Steeple Square’s Honkamp Hall on Friday Sept. 6. Participants learned and got to practice a variety of techniques like paint stripping, removal of glazing and glass, sash repairs, weatherization and re-glazing windows.

On Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8, 14 participants took part in an intensive workshop at 2033 Washington St., a property provided by Dubuque’s True North. Three historic windows were restored as participants learned the nuts and bolts of the trade.

Part of the Heritage Works mission is to provide educational programming that highlights Dubuque’s rich historic and architectural heritage. Yapp’s window restoration “boot camp” was an opportunity for contractors, homeowners and young tradespeople to learn a new skill that is mutually beneficial for historic architecture in the area. Through Yapp’s workshop, participants learned the importance of window restoration as a means of preserving the character of historic buildings and increasing energy efficiency.

Each year, millions of historic windows end up in landfills. Once an original window is replaced, that element is lost and the character of the structure is forever altered. It is more ecologically responsible and beneficial for historic architecture to restore windows rather than replace them.

After completing Yapp’s boot camp, the 14 participants have the knowledge and experience needed to be able to restore their own windows or others’ for paid work.

Sponsors of the workshop included the Dubuque Racing Association, Dupaco Community Credit Union, Steeple Square, Dubuque’s True North, City of Dubuque, and Four Mounds.


Dubuque, IA



Education and Training, Historic Properties Redevelopment