Restoring windows to their glory

November 05, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

BOONSBORO - Back in the 1950s, when Trinity Lutheran Church was undergoing a major renovation, eight stained-glass windows were headed for the dump.

"John H. Bast Sr. was there and said he'd store them," said Karen Cunningham, a member of the church at 64 S. Main St. "He saved all those wonderful windows."

Replaced by plain frosted-glass windows, most of the stained-glass windows stayed in storage with the Bast, now deceased, until the 1970s, when they were reinstalled at the church.

Now, Cunningham and her husband, Ross, are seeing to the renovation and reinstallation of the last two windows that have been fashioned from one larger window recently discovered in the church attic.


According to Pastor Joseph Donovan, the window is original to the church, which means it dates to 1850.

Donovan said it is a colorful painted and screen-printed window in two sections. One section measures 3 feet by 9 1/2 feet; the other section is 3 feet by 4 1/2 feet.

The Cunninghams took it upon themselves to pay the church to restore the window and are donating it.

Don't Throw Stones Stained Glass, a firm from York, Pa., is making two equal-size windows out of the existing stained glass with all the symbols and all pieces of glass that can be salvaged from the original window.

Two new frames have been fabricated, according to Renate Grim, who owns the company with her husband, Daniel Grim.

The plan was to have the windows in by Christmas, but the work has gone well and both are expected to be installed before Thanksgiving, Karen Cunningham said.

"One window will be dedicated to the memory and honor of Trinity's members of the armed forces, deceased and living," she said.

The other will honor Bast for saving the windows.

The reworked windows will be installed along the north and south walls as one enters the front door and begins the climb to the church's second story.

Many years ago, a door replaced the window's original location, and that door will remain, Karen Cunningham said.

The two sites of the new installations are covered with drywall until the windows arrive.

The Cunninghams renovated stained glass at Trinity before.

"We dedicated another window to Karen's mother's family," Ross Cunningham said.

The beauty of stained glass can be inspiring, a factor that drove their decision to get involved with the project.

"There are two other windows at the top of the stairs, and when the sun comes up on Easter Sunday, it is so beautiful," Karen Cunningham said.

All of the windows are covered with clear Plexiglas to protect them while still allowing the beauty to show through, she said.

Both retired schoolteachers, the Cunninghams said they were happy to participate in restoring the stained-glass windows - not only to their original beauty but back to the church where they belong.

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