By Greg Olson firstname.lastname@example.org
August 20, 2014
Some familiar architectural features of the old Salem Lutheran Church have been incorporated in the new church building.
Jacksonville Art Glass recently completed the restoration and installation of the 90-year-old stained glass windows for the new church at South East Street and East College Avenue.
The old glass was carefully removed by Jacksonville Art Glass foreman William Preston and his crew in November. The windows were then crated and taken to the studio at 54 N. Central Park for restoration. The original wood frames of the old church were measured and templates made before they left the old church. The templates were provided by R.D. Lawrence, the contracting firm which made window frames for the new church.
The stained glass received a total restoration. This tedious process entailed precisely patterning the old windows, documenting and labeling all the glass, and then removing the old lead for recycling. Each piece was hand cleaned to remove years of grime.
“Fortunately, because of the properties of glass, the newly cleaned pieces look as new as the day they were created,” Jacksonville Art Glass owner John Krol said. “Since we service so many customers as far north as Chicago and into Missouri and Indiana, it is always a pleasure to take care of our churches at home in Jacksonville.”
The cataloged pieces of glass were then releaded using the original patterns. After a careful cementing of the window panel to waterproof and provide structure, the panels received new rebar for stabilization and then a final cleaning and inspection.
“Mark Lovekamp, Larry Vincent and Pastor Peter Brechbuhl at Salem Lutheran Church were phenomenal to work with on this project,” Jacksonville Art Glass general manager Ron Weaver said.
“They did a beautiful job of removing, repairing and installing the stained glass,” said Vincent, who is chairman of the building committee for the new Salem Lutheran Church, which is scheduled to open in about six weeks.
Jacksonville Art Glass has its roots in Chicago. Krol moved his family to Jacksonville and re-established the business in 2005. Since then, the studio has grown to employ 15 artisans, who are working on various stained glass restoration projects in the United States.
Greg Olson can be contacted at 217-245-6121, ext. 1224, or on Twitter @JCNews_Greg.