Two artisans from Willet Hauser/Associated Crafts of Winona, Minnesota, Joseph Martinez and David Crow, have been in town since May 13th to continue with the second phase of the restoration of the stained glass windows on the church building. They are part of the second phase of a project that began in May, 2019.
The current effort involves the restoration in place of the remaining 32 stained glass windows in the building. The work includes the replacing of missing or cracked window pieces, repositioning loose glass back into the original lead channels, reducing of bulging window sections, installing, repairing, and adjusting of steel structural support braces, recementing of the exterior surface of the windows, removing and replacing loose paint on the outer millwork, and placing of exterior window protective coverings. The work is expected to take about five weeks.
The four windows that were removed in 2019, including the two largest windows, one facing Vaughn Avenue and the other facing 3rd Street, remain in the contractor’s studio in Winona undergoing disassembly and restoration. These windows required more restorative work than could be accomplished on site. Every pane of glass in each of the removed windows has been disassembled, inspected, cleaned, and will be reassembled with new caning. It is a long and tedious process that has been hampered by the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. These four windows will be returned to Ashland to be reinstalled at a later date once the studio restoration is completed.
The $150,000 restoration effort has been funded through the generous gifts of the friends and members of the congregation. Through their generosity, the windows of our church will have been brought back to life to grace our services and community for the century to come.
A video of the first phase of the window restoration project is available on the church’s YouTube channel.