Front Entry Door

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    I would like to replace my ugly metal front entry door with a nice wooden door without a window. Does the door have to have a window in a 3 family brownstone? Why do most front doors have windows in park slope? In addition, I am going to install a new interior door in the foyer area. Does this need to be fire rated? Each unit has its own fire rated door leading to the unit. Any advice would be appreciated.

    3 Replies

    1. the short answer is no- you do not need a glazed panel on the door. when brownstones were built many had all wooden entry doors (which were left open during the daytime hours and closed at night). When a visitor arrived they would approach the vestibule doors (which are invariably glazed) so that it would be possible to see the guest.

      As the population grew and brownstones, which were built single-family, were used a multi-family dwellings the transom became a requirement. The rational was that the glass could be broken to let the smoke out.

      Many original entry doors were cut down and a transom was affixed to the jamb. If one were to look closely at the top of a transom on most brownstone entryways that seem to be original one would find evidence of a keeper for a flush bolt or surface bolt where the original doors would have been (and is now occupied by glass).

      The transom is no longer required for entry doors on multi-family buildings.

      Personally I prefer all wooden doors with only a small piece of glass on the arch above the frieze rail.