When Ken Ferlita learned that his grandfather’s historic 1929 building was slated to be torn down, he decided to do something to preserve it. (see video)

Project Challenge

Ybor City, the once-thriving cigar capital of the world and immigrant community of largely Cuban, Spanish and Italian culture, was severely eroded by the end of WWII. By the late 1950s and 1960s much of historic Ybor City, north of downtown Tampa, had fallen into disrepair. The federal Urban Renewal program made an effort at demolition and revitalization, but redevelopment didn’t occur.

When Ken Ferlita, architect and grandson of the Ferlita Macaroni Factory owner, learned that his grandfather’s historic 1929 building was slated to be torn down, he decided to do something to preserve it. Ferlita contacted brothers John Rosende and Chris Rosende who renovated the structure and took advantage of tax credits, grants and loans to restore the building and give it new life as The Molding Depot showroom.

Architectural Solution

The project team brought the building—and a bit of the neighborhood—back to life. Because the Ferlita Macaroni Factory is a contributing structure in Ybor City’s landmark district, windows and doors are strictly regulated by the architectural review board. To meet regulations, windows had to be primed wood, and JELD-WEN made the selection process easy. The Molding Depot chose JELD-WEN Epic Double-Hung windows with impact glazing for the project. The windows, identical to the originals in appearance and style, were primed for bronze paint on the exterior and white interior. They complement the segment top brick openings and give the structure its historic aesthetic.

JELD-WEN Epic windows also have high-tech durability with AuraLast® The Worry-Free Wood. AuraLast is JELD-WEN’s proprietary vacuum-pressure process that delivers protective ingredients to the core of the wood. Perfect for humid climates, AuraLast is guaranteed against wood rot and termites for 20 years.

“If I’m going to spec[ify] a window for my grandfather’s building, I want one that’s going to last,” said Ferlita.

Family-owned for more than three decades, The Moulding Depot created an awe-inspiring product showroom. Chris Rosende notes that by completing the renovation, their business received a lot of positive feedback from the neighbors. Doing business in a better-looking, architecturally correct manner is a good thing in the community, notes John Rosende. Historic renovation does more than renew a structure; it heals a part of the community.

Product Details

  • JELD-WEN Epic Double-Hung Wood Windows with AuraLast® Wood

Project Team

  • Ken Ferlita, architect, Hafner │ Ferlita Architects and grandson of Ferlita Macaroni Factory owner
  • John Rosende, Chris Rosende, owners, The Molding Depot