Old Stone Church, First Presbyterian

Cleveland, Ohio

Rick Breuer

Challenge

To conserve the 18-foot, triple lancet opalescent window created by famed American stained glass artist John La Farge for Old Stone First Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, Ohio. The 115-year-old windows, Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, suffered from deteriorating lead and subsequent damage to the glass.

Solution

After thorough examination and documentation with photographs and rubbings, the window was de-leaded and the glass was cleaned. Cracked pieces were edge-glued with conservation epoxy and tinted to match the existing glass.

The re-leading of the panels was very labor intensive because, in some areas, La Farge had several layers of glass or "platings" used to achieve a greater richness of depth and color. By contrast, some other pieces of glass were smaller than a dime. Re-leading under these circumstances required the highest level of skill from the glaziers.

Conrad Schmitt Studios rehabilitated the window frame on-site at Old Stone Church and installed new, vented storm glass. The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth can now be enjoyed and appreciated for another 100 years.

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