Restored Tiffany stained glass re-installed in Chicago church

Karen Jordan Image
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Restored Tiffany stained glass re-installed in Chicago church
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A Tiffany stained glass window is being re-installed at the historic Second Presbyterian Church.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A newly restored Tiffany stained glass window is being re-installed inside Chicago's historic Second Presbyterian Church in the South Loop neighborhood.

Workers spent the last year cleaning 100 years of dirt and grime off the 16-foot "peace window."

It has been restored to its original design by Louis Comfort Tiffany. A wealthy church member commissioned Tiffany to design the window around the turn of the 20th Century.

"After this restoration, it has new colors we hadn't seen before and will sparkle like it did in 1903," said Linda Miller, of Friends of Historic Second Church.

The famous window, which measures 16 feet high and 8 feet wide, is one of nine original Tiffany stained glass windows in the church.

The glass has been untouched for a century, but the preservation group associated with the church raised more than $300,000 to restore it.

The window was removed more than a year ago and shipped to Tom Venturella's studio in New York, which specializes in conservation of stained glass.

At the studio, more than a thousand pieces were taken apart and cleaned of dirt and grime.

"The leads were cracked, they were dried, they were really corroded and as we were taking one section a whole corner of that panel broke away," Venturell said.

The reinstallation process will take four days.

After that, more time is needed to touch up the plaster and paint framing the window.

Then, the big reveal will happen at the end of the month.

"It'll be the same as these people with the high starched collars and the women with the long dresses saw that window in 1903," Venturell said.

Second Presbyterian was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2013.