Steve Benson - The Traditional Building Conference Series

Steve Benson

PresidentJ.S. Benson Architectural Millwork, Windows & Doors
1741 Route 7 South
Middlebury, VT 05753
802-398-2003

Double-Hung Wooden Window Case Studies: Replacement and New Traditional Construction

As a student of fine art, architecture and civil engineering at SUNY Alfred and Empire State College with a focus on environmental design, Steve made his way through college working as a carpenter, sawmill hand and machinist. In 1981 Steve founded J.S. Benson Woodworking and Design in Somerville, Massachusetts and won local recognition for craftsmanship and innovation, as noted in a Boston Globe article of 1984, including historic fenestration. J.S. Benson secured the contract to engineer and produce the mahogany large format field camera components for Fred Picker's Brattleboro, Vermont based Zone VI Studios. As a result, J.S. Benson moved to Brattleboro in 1988 and renovated a 17,000 sf 19 century mill building in the historic Estey Reed Organ Factory. There the company manufactured the field cameras while continuing to design and build high-end fenestration and associated architectural millwork. Many historic landmark buildings in the Northeast have been retrofitted with J.S. Benson true divided light windows manufactured in this facility. The introduction and perfection of exterior copper cladding occurred during this period as well as projects utilizing European high performance hardware, glazing and finishing technologies.

In 2013 J.S. Benson moved to Middlebury, Vermont to expand operations with long- time collaborator Connor Homes in the former 110,000 sf Standard Register printing press building. New and up-graded equipment along with shared overhead and staff have allowed Steve and his new partners to take on projects not feasible individually. This synergy of Master Builders working under the same roof with Master Woodworkers have most recently culminated in the 2014 complete restoration of the Groton School clock tower using digital modeling to create an exact replica in pattern grade mahogany of the architectural elements.

Today Steve is overseeing the launch of an in-house CNC insulated glass fabrication shop which will incorporate the new generation of Low-E coatings warm-edge spacers and Krypton-fill to exceed current energy standards. The screen-to-machine, high- precision, automated glass cutting and assembly line will insure the continuation of the quality and exceptional value proposition customers have come to expect from J.S. Benson.