No building stands forever, occupants change – and whether an old church is being torn down or a congregation is relocating to a new building, many are often left with the question of “what to do with the original antique stained glass windows?” If you have purchased and/or acquired stained glass or are planning on relocating to a new location and want to take your original stained glass windows with you, there are options for giving these antique stained glass windows a new life through our Adaptive Reuse service!
Adaptively Reuse Antique Stained Glass Windows with Associated Crafts@ and Willet Hauser®
Adaptively reusing antique stained glass windows is not uncommon – but one of the main issues that make it not so easy is fitting the old window into the new window frame. Many times the sizes are off or the shape is wrong. When presented with such a predicament, it’s very important to work with a studio that is seasoned in adapting an old design into one that enhances the original aesthetic rather than destroys it.
Holy Rosary Catholic Church Repurposing
Associated Crafts@ and Willet Hauser® is well seasoned in the repurposing of antique stained glass. One of our larger repurposing projects was for Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Hilmar, California. This exciting commission featured the adaptive reuse of existing antique stained glass that was salvaged from a church nearly three thousand miles away, located in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The antique stained glass windows were designed and fabricated in 1918 by the Munich Studios of Chicago. Scenes from the Life of Christ, including His Baptism, Jesus in the Temple, Jesus with Mary and Martha as well as a number of saints such as Saints Cecilia and Peter are featured in this beautiful collection. They were described as a “treasure” by Christopher Freeburg of Holy Rosary who viewed the windows during a trip to Pittsburgh in the Spring of 2014. Our crews carefully transferred the twenty-four one-hundred-year-old historic windows to our studio in Winona, Minnesota where they underwent restoration in preparation for their new home on the West Coast. Because of the smaller window openings of the new church, many of the Pittsburgh windows – which measured approximately four feet by eleven feet – had to be carefully adapted to fit Holy Rosary’s space. Our artisans worked to downsize the eighteen windows without sacrificing their artistic integrity and original aesthetic.
Additionally, a number of new windows were designed to match this historic collection. One such window depicts the Ascension of Christ. This window was designed to match a window from the Pittsburgh collection depicting the Assumption of Mary. The images below here show the original Ascension window as well as the window after historic restoration reworked to fit a larger frame. John Valenti Photography captured beautiful images of the newly installed stained glass windows in Holy Rosary Catholic Church.