A major milestone was reached this week in Saint John’s Loyalist House restoration project, and now the rush is on to finish the project in time for peak tourism season.

Dozens of windows from the 200-year-old landmark were removed when the restoration project got underway in the winter, and now the refurbished windows are being installed.

Trades workers say the historic building was in sad shape until a few months ago.

“I mean, when I first showed up, she looked pretty sad. The paint was falling off, the rotten windows, and other things like that,” says carpenter Philip Hayes.

The windows were taken to a shop where materials used to replace the panes and to repair the rot had to conform to heritage building standards.

The non-profit historical society that operates Loyalist House says the renovations have been needed for decades.

“Everything will be freshly painted. We have five new flags ready to go up. It’s going to look better than it has in 50 or 60 years,” says Deborah Coleman of United Empire Loyalists.

Loyalist House is recognized both nationally and provincially as a historic site, but virtually every dime going into the restoration project has been raised privately, through individual and corporate donations.

The budget for the facelift is about $600,000 and community activist Barry Ogden says there have been relatively few surprises so far.

“Two of the walls were in good shape, better than we thought,” says Ogden. “One was what we thought and one had more rot than we thought, so that’s not too bad.’

A third coat of paint still needs to be applied before the scaffolding can be removed.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron