Beauty is not a factor

64_cnc_gantryRarely do people get the chance to win a contest for an unappealing entry, but the Ugly Door and Ugly Window contest is an exception. Sponsored by Wooden Window, a door and window manufacturer in Oakland, Calif., the contest is designed to create awareness about the craft of wooden doors and windows, and recognize people who care about certain structures and the woodcraft behind them, according to company spokesman Todd Kerr.

"The response to this year's contest was tremendous on both the door and window side. What was interesting to us was how many nominations we received on behalf of public entities this year. Hence, we couldn't decide in the case of the door contest and had co-winners," says Kerr.

Grand prize winners were announced in January. In the next several months, they will receive a new custom crafted wooden door or window to replace their entry.

64_back_entryA co-winner in the Ugly Door contest was the rear entry door of the Port Costa School in Port Costa, Calif. The project was submitted by Ridge Green, resident of Port Costa, who for the last 20 years has been restoring Port Costa School and other historical buildings in the area.

The other co-winner was the kitchen door of John Marsh House in Brentwood, Calif. Judy July of Siegel & Strain Architects submitted the entry for John Marsh House on behalf of the community of Brentwood.

The winner of the Ugly Window contest was homeowner Wally Jensen in San Mateo, Calif. This particular window is in such bad shape that Jenson had relied on a bungee cord wrapped around the faucet to secure it for years.

While every entry was "bad," Kerr explained why the winners were selected.

"In terms of the door contest, both winning door entries were damaged in attacks of vandalism. They had recently been boarded up, but had once been part of a glorious old building - beautifully crafted, but damaged beyond repair. Of course, other doors entered had suffered other problems including rot and warping and had become dysfunctional because of it.

"The reason the judges decided on the two winners was because they were part of projects that were being supported with broad community support. In both cases, the repair door actually helped the functioning of that building and the community within it. The projects are starting and the first step is for the doors to be measured so we're making those arrangements now."

Contact: Wooden Window, 849 29th St., Oakland, CA 94608. Tel: 510-893-1157. www.woodenwindow.com

This article originally appeared in the March 2010 issue.