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We are repainting the house this summer, including repairing the old double-hung wooden sash windows. Five or six have broken cords on one or both sides. Because of their construction, the only way to access the weights is by pulling off the interior woodwork—a wider facing board and the thinner glides that hold the sash in place.

It has felt a bit archeological. These spaces were nailed up in 1915 when they built the house. The wood inside the weight pockets is quite dark, giving these narrow spaces, which are purely functional, a surprising feeling of the sacred or secret.

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