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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Opportunity to Learn Historic Window Restoration This Weekend

If you have always wanted to learn how to restore historic windows in an historic building then you will have your chance this Saturday, July 7.

The workshop will take place at the Harlan Hubbard Studio and Nature Preserve, a real gem located ion private property in the middle of Fort Thomas. The structure is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The large steel window in the rear of the building will be restored to its 1939 glory. Jim Turner, one of the midwest’s restoration experts, will lead the project. Jim has lead a number of other restoration projects in Northern Kentucky. Participants will learn about types of window glass, proper glazing techniques, and frame restoration.

The studio was built in 1939 from reclaimed materials salvaged along Covington’s riverfront. The window was originally destined for a church but fell off a truck and was run over. It was ruined for the church. Hubbard reportedly paid five dollars for it. He got it back to Fort Thomas, pounded the frame straight, and placed it in the north wall of the studio. It provided the perfect light for the artist.

For those who do not know, Harlan Hubbard is often called Kentucky’s Thoreau, an artist of unique talent, a writer of great insight, and an outlier living on the fringe of civilization. He and his wife, Anna,  lived an isolated life for 40 years in a house that he built from locally resourced materials in Trimble County, Kentucky.  But it was in this studio where he hatched his plan to build a shanty boat and float the Ohio River to the Mississippi and then on to New Orleans. He and his wife, Anna, took two years to float the river. He chronicled his adventure and observations in his book, Shantyboat. Hubbard has been inducted into Kentucky’s Writers Hall of Fame and received a Governor’s Lifetime Achievement award in recognition for his work.

The Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy was later founded in this studio and the founders were well aware of Hubbard’s love of the land and his devotion to being a proper environmental steward. The FTFC now holds a conservation easement on the property that protects it in perpetuity from development and have lead the fundraising to restore the building.

The workshop begins at 9:00 a.m. at 129 Highland Avenue. You are welcome to observe or participate. Email your intention to

The workshop is free.

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