Historic church windows a tall order

Above, a worker removes the historic stained glass windows from the Trinity Episcopal Church in Fredonia.

Built in 1834-35, Trinity Episcopal Church is the only surviving Gothic Revival public building in Fredonia. Consecrated in 1836, it is now the oldest Episcopal church in Chautauqua County.

The first stained glass windows were installed in 1925. The windows were based on a 13th century window in Lambeth Palace Chapel, England. Von Gerichten Studio, an expert stained glass studio from Columbus, Ohio, was chosen to build the windows.

The glass of the windows was executed in the company’s studios in Bavaria and Munich. The windows depict the scenes from the life of Christ.

One month after the installation a fire destroyed the new stained glass windows, the organ, the bell, and the tower! However, within one year the church was rebuilt with duplicate stained glass windows re-created by Von Gerichten Studio using glass from Germany.

Trinity’s windows are works of art. These 92-year-old windows have been in need of repair for several years. A lenten campaign to raise funds began Feb. 15, and the goal has already been meet.

On April 23, the windows were removed by a restoration studio, Stained Glass Resources, from Massachusetts to be completely restored with new leading. When re-installed at the end of October, they will have a life of another 100 years.

Trinity is not only a place of workshop but home to Trinity Masterworks Choir, which performs three times a year. Trinity is included in the Fredonia Commons Historic District as listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Trinity Episcopal recently received a grant from the New York Landmarks Conservancy to help in the stained glass window restoration.

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