When we arrived for the inspection, we observed that the stained glass windows had suffered significant damage. The strong gusts of wind from the storm had swept through the church and pulled the stained glass along with it. The extreme pressure differential from the tornado had created a vacuum effect and had caused the lead to buckle. The framing was pulled about ½ inch away from the stained glass. The pressure from the storm was so severe that the tornado was able to suck out a 12×18 ft, 1,000 lbs window.
Fortunately, each window was protected by a piece of plexiglass that had helped keep most of the glass intact during the storm. Otherwise, the glass would have been blown away and destroyed completely. The glass itself was over 130 years old and was therefore incredibly valuable. Based on these factors, we determined that off site restoration was the best option.
Our first task was to remove the stained glass very carefully so as to avoid any further damage to the glass. Most of the glass, produced over 100 years ago, is no longer available, so it’s always very important to preserve the existing glass. In this case there were additional complications because the vibrations from the tornado had caused microscopic flaws to be created, even in the glass that wasn’t broken, so extra care and attention was needed.
Next, the window frames had to be pulled back into place and secured. Back at our workshop, the windows were soaked, cleaned, carefully disassembled, then reconstructed using new leading and matching glass to replace the badly broken pieces. The stained glass was polished, then returned to the church and reinstalled.
Not only were we glad to be able to be assistance to the church during their time of need, but it was also inspiring for us to see the way the church members came together to resolve this issue. While the insurance company covered the damage from the tornado, the church had to cover the cost of the restoration for the other windows all on their own and raised all the necessary funds based on donations from members. It is truly inspiring to see the way that art can influence and impact a community and bring people together.
The First United Methodist Church is a small but beautiful church located in Odessa, Missouri. In 2016, a severe storm system swept through the town and the church suffered an immense amount of damage as a result of contact with a tornado. The church members contacted our company seeking our professional assistance with repairs for their stained glass windows.
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 receive an estimate on our services.