Overbrook church receives $10K grant to refurbish stained glass windows
Fairhaven United Methodist Church in Overbrook received a Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation grant that will go toward refurbishing stained glass windows that tell the church's story.
The grant is $10,000 in matching money, meaning the church near the busy intersection of Routes 51 and 88 must match or exceed that amount. So far, church historian Rich Cummings said, the congregation has raised about $7,000.
“There are 17 windows in all that need work done,” Cummings said. “The sole cost to renovate just one window is $38,000. The total cost to do this project will be about $200,000. Our goal is to get as many windows renovated as possible over a 10-year period.”
All the windows have been dedicated to people and organizations in the church's history. Cummings expects the work to start after the Easter holiday.
David Vater, chairman of the foundation's historic religious properties committee, said religious properties that promote the public good and are anchors in their communities are selected to receive grants. The maximum allotted per church is $10,000, but churches can request money each year.
“Our focus is critical work to keep the structure in place,” Vater said. “We are only concerned with maintaining the integrity of the buildings, which is why grant money is to be used for the exterior of the buildings only.”
The Fairhaven site is “prone to flooding and is a traffic nightmare, but it definitely needed the funding.”
The white clapboard church, which dates to 1907, and the Overbrook fire hall are the last buildings that represent the small town of Fairhaven.
This year, the foundation gave $95,710 that was split among 12 religious properties in Allegheny County.
“There is a great need to help these properties because they are not eligible for state or federal funding since they are religious,” Vater said.
Road work at Routes 51 and 88 has been an issue over the years for the church. John Rudiak, a PennDOT traffic systems control specialist, said intersection improvements “were constantly being designed and redesigned. This is the busiest and most congested intersection in Western Pennsylvania, with over 40,000 vehicles using it daily.”
In 1957, the church was in danger of being torn down for a multimillion-dollar PennDOT project that would have led to a six-lane road. The project was abandoned.
Regarding a reconstruction of the intersection, “Neither the Fairhaven Church nor the Overbrook fire hall is on the agenda to be destroyed or relocated, although many other buildings and properties may be affected,” Rudiak said. “Both properties are considered to be landmarks in the Overbrook neighborhood and are off limits.”
When Pittsburgh gave Fairhaven historical landmark status, Cummings said, “it gave us protection. Still, the road work makes the church difficult to access and tends to make people feel threatened by it, like the church is going to be swallowed up.”
A local company, Rudy Brothers Co., designed the stained glass windows.
One criterion for the foundation's Historic Religious Properties Program is that churches have an active congregation. Fairhaven offers worship from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sundays.
Chasity Capasso is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Arsenal hard cider now served at Soergel Orchards in Franklin Park
- Event to offer glimpse of cemetery’s history at Old St. Luke’s
- North Allegheny grad earns international recognition for public speaking
- Allegheny County libraries getting upgrade with computer software program
- Dormont library program to pay tribute to Japanese culture
- Neighborhood movie theaters use unconventional methods to draw customers
- Mt. Lebanon church plans $2M expansion project