A stained glass window in a city’s oldest surviving church was recently vandalized. A replacement section was created to scale and installed into the original glass panel.



In Depth

The rich stained glass in this church is nearly 150 years old. In an act of vandalism, a stone was thrown through one of these priceless and historic windows. Thankfully an exterior sheet of storm glass cushioned most of the blow. While the storm glass itself was shattered, only a single section of the stained glass’s lower panel was destroyed by the impact. This lost area had contained a decorative depiction of leaves growing from a vine. Determined not to let the vandals have their way, a decision was made to recreate and protect the missing glass.

First a template was created by measuring and recording the the area of the break. Normally, record photographs and study of the rest of the window would be used to determine the contents of the missing section. Thankfully, the parish’s other windows contained imagery of the leaves and vines in the exact same shape. A rubbing of this section was taken to provide the glass workers with the necessary details. Using the template, a piece of stained glass was cut to the appropriate shape, and painted with the same silver and black design that the original possessed. This piece of glass was fired in a kiln to bake the paint into the surface. With the replacement glass ready for installation, Heritage’s staff traveled to the church and reinstalled the missing section into the lower panel of the damaged stained glass window. After sealing the glass into place, a high-performance, clear sheet of polycarbonate was used to replace the shattered storm glass. This sheet is durable and rated to withstand attacks by sledgehammers. This section of glass is now protected from exterior vandalism, which is certain to be a relief to the church’s owners.

Replacing the Glass


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