Wednesday, December 30, 2009

“Save the Oratory’s Stained Glass Windows”

ONE OF THE stained glass windows at Saint Francis de Sales Oratory is damaged due to the unstable foundation of the church's tower.

Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - detail of damaged window 3

From Tradition for Tomorrow:
One of the consequences of the shifting foundation of the church tower is the cracking in the masonry and the bowing of the historic stained glass windows of the church. The windows most seriously affected are the ones on the north side, on the right side of the choir loft. Unfortunately, the structural damage of the windows has reached a point where it is now necessary to remove the stained glass segments in order to save them.
Click here to help.


  1. This photo shows that the stained glass window has buckled or puckered. The bar sticking off the photo is a 1/2" steel reinforcement bar that is soldered onto the interior surface of the stained glass window. Bars are soldered onto the window every 12 - 18". Once the window starts to buckle. The solder joints start to break. The window will no longer support the weight of itself. Glass will start to break. In fact the wedge shape triangle in this photo has already cracked.

    This window is fully hand painted stained glass. Painted stained glass is fine art. Traditionally black, brown and yellow paints are applied to the surface of the colored glass. The paint is applied to enhance the colored glass. Every layer of paint has to be fired in a kiln prior to being leaded into the stained glass panel. These are really beautiful windows.

    This photo was taken with lights illuminating the surface of the windows which is best way to show the structural qualities of the stained glass. I also photograph the same areas with transmitted light which is the best way to show the beauty of the stained glass.

    If you click on the photograph, a link will take you to where you can see other photos of these windows. In those photos, you will see photos that have bright 'daylight' coming in around the pieces of glass. 'Daylight' shows that the stained glass has buckled so much that the glass is coming out of the lead came channel. Those pieces are in danger of falling out. Yes, these windows are in need of repair.

    Laura Goff Parham
    State of the Art, Inc
    Stained Glass Studio

  2. Ms. Parham,
    I have several windows like these that were in a church in Germany. They were replaced with new windows. Would you be interested in them ? I am not sure what their value is, I just wanted to preserve them.
    Bev Cannon