stained glass conservation first presbyterian church bakersfield ca

The First Presbyterian Church in Bakersfield, CA

Stained Glass Conservation Project

stained glass restoration bakersfield ca

The Apostles’ Creed is the oldest statement of faith in the Christian church. Historians believed that it originated in 5th-century Gaul and derived from the Old Roman Symbol, an ancient Latin creed of the 4th century. It is a deeply profound and moving testament and many consider it to be sacred. It is also the source of inspiration and main theme of a beautiful set of stained glass windows located in Bakersfield, California.

The Apostles’ Creed stained glass has been one of the main features in the First Presbyterian Church of Bakersfield for years and is admired by all who come to visit. When the windows suffered catastrophic damage due to an act of vandalism, our stained glass conservationists were called out to the church to conduct an assessment. We worked with skill and diligence to repair the stained glass and restore it back to its original glory.

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About the Apostles’ Creed Stained Glass Windows

The First Presbyterian Church of Bakersfield is a beautiful church with a 125 year long history. The church is located in the heart of Bakersfield, California on the southwest corner of 17th Street and H Street and sees regular attendance from members of the surrounding community.

“The Apostles’ Creed” windows are located within the sanctuary of the church and are a set of wonderfully artistic and visually stunning stained glass windows. The windows are adorned with detailed hand painted imagery and serve as a symbolic representation of hope and faith. The artist delicately painted the words of the Apostle’s Creed on the glass by hand to accompany the beautiful design. The windows are made from the highest quality glass and every piece was meticulously painted and fired in a kiln by hand.

stained glass damage restoration process

Damage & Areas of Concern

One day, one of the church elders walked into the sanctuary and discovered that the stained glass had been severely and intentionally vandalized. An unknown person had thrown a steel pipe at the window and caused critical damage to the protective covering and the stained glass itself. We were contacted by the church’s insurance company to evaluate the damage and create a plan for repair.

Several pieces of glass were missing entirely. Others were severely cracked and in need of replacement. The leading caming had buckled and the exterior glass also needed to be replaced entirely.

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How We Approached the Restoration Process

After we completed the inspection and removed the stained glass, our next step was to research replacement materials. Several pieces of glass needed to be replaced and we needed to get matching colors and textures. Because the windows were antique, it was difficult to find similar glass, but with some effort, we were able to find good replacement options.

Next, we worked to recreate the window using photographs. Using CAD software, we carefully calculated and replicated the lead lines according to the original design. Then, we cut all new pieces of glass and worked to recreate the hand painted details. We conducted several experiments using different brush techniques and methods. For each piece that was broken, we made three or four new ones so that we could produce an exact match. Then, we rebuilt the window and transported it back to Bakersfield.

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Project Outcome

Prior to being vandalized, The Apostles’ Creed window held a value of over $25,000. However, when it was damaged, its value was diminished significantly. Had we not been able to restore the stained glass, the church would have had to replace the damaged panels, which would have cost about $35,000. We were able to significantly reduce costs for the insurance company and repair the window in an aesthetic, conservative manner. The parishioners can once again enjoy their beautiful stained glass and thanks to the new protective glazing system, the windows will be well guarded from any future attempts of vandalism and damage.

Bring new life and beauty to your church with Church Stained Glass Restoration from Scottish. Contact our office to speak to a designer about your project or to receive an estimate on our services.