Not knowing the details of the situation, the building, or the economics, I can offer this:
Assuming a high-quality replacement window will be required, the cost will likely be equivalent to repairing the historic windows. Run the numbers for rehab vs. replacement and see how it shakes out. Alternately, is a compromise solution that requires rehabilitation of the windows on the primary elevations and replacement on the secondary elevations? Just a thought.
Devin A. Colman | State Architectural Historian
Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
One National Life Drive | Deane C. Davis Building, Floor 6 | Montpelier, VT 05620-0501
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