South Loop Second Presbyterian Church's Tiffany stained glass windows restored

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For the past three years, the stained glass windows inside Second Presbyterian Church in the South Loop have shined as brightly as the day they were first designed by the firm of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

The Peace window was the first of the church's nine Tiffany windows to be restored.

"Tiffany had been a big hit in Chicago at the 1893 World's Colombian Exposition so people in Chicago knew about him," said Linda Miller of Friends of Historic Second Church.

Wealthy members of the congregation commissioned Tiffany in the late 1890's to create memorial windows for their loved ones. But now, more than 100 years later, the windows need to be restored.

"They're very dirty," said Tom Venturella of Venturella Studio. "They're very tired. And they're very much in need of some TLC."

Venturella worked on bringing the Peace window back to its original glory in 2018. And now another Tiffany window, called "St. Paul Preaching at Athens," is being taken apart piece by piece. It will be packed up and transported to Venturella's studio in New York for the painstaking cleaning and restoration process.

The process will take about 14 months and comes with a hefty price tag of nearly half a million dollars. The money was raised by Friends of Historic Second Church.

"People who like history help us. People who like art help us. People who care about Chicago help us," said Ann Belletire, church member.

The Saint Paul window should be reinstalled by summer 2022, and organizers are already working on raising money to fund the restoration of another window.
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