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Century-old windows repaired, reinstalled in Kittanning church

| Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, 12:21 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Brush strokes of detail and clarity can be seen in the century-old stained glass window from Grace Presbyterian Church since the restoration. Thursday September 26, 2013
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Ralph Mills and Sean Jones, of Glassworks Studio in Pittsburgh, install a releaded century-old Rudy Brothers stained glass window at Grace Presbyterian Church along North Jefferson Street in Kittanning. Thursday September 26, 2013
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Ralph Mills and Sean Jones, of Glassworks Studio in Pittsburgh, hoist the century-old Rudy Brothers stained glass window at Grace Presbyterian Church along North Jefferson Street in Kittanning. Thursday September 26, 2013

KITTANNING — Angels gracing a section of century-old stained glass appeared to watch over a delicate installation job as two men hoisted the section of window up 30 feet of scaffolding at Grace Presbyterian Church on Thursday.

“This is the scary part,” said Nolan Raraigh, a member of the church property committee, as Ralph Mills and Sean Jones of Glassworks Studios in Pittsburgh carefully lifted the window into place.

After more than half a year at the studio, several thousand pieces of jeweled and opalescent glass have been meticulously cleaned, reassembled, re-leaded and are in the process of being re-installed section by section through the next week.

The entire window depicting the risen Christ flanked by angels and surrounded by lilies was made in the Tiffany style by Rudy Brothers of Pittsburgh more than 100 years ago and has been a fixture in the church at 155 N. Jefferson St. since its original installation in 1910.

The church has three windows made by Tiffany, two of which were re-leaded a couple of years ago by Glassworks Studios.

According to Raraigh, the dismantling, refurbishing and reinstallation of the window cost about $110,000, which was paid for through donations from members of the congregation. A sizable amount of that total was bequeathed by the estate of a church member.

“It's a gorgeous work of art,” said the Rev. Dana Wilmot. “This has been a big project, and we're thankful to the generous donors who have made this possible.”

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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