The Beauty of Stained Glass

The Beauty of Stained Glass

Some of the stores here on Main Street have stained glass windows displaying their street address. My family owns the floral shop, and I remember being behind the counter as a kid and watching the light catch the tinted glass, and all the beautiful colors it made. It has always been one of my favorite things about the store. I am not sure, but I think all the buildings in this section did at some point. It certainly looks that way based on the old photographs I have come across and through casual conversations with some older residents. Not everybody still has theirs—the movie theater’s got phased out when they “updated” about thirty years ago, and at least one or two of the vacant buildings now have plywood where those address markers were. That’s depressing. It is yet another thing I want to restore to this area if I can get the opportunity. I am hoping everyone will get on board. Some of what they can do is so amazingly cool, and I think it adds a tremendous amount of class and style to the revitalization project.

I doubt stained glass street numbers on their own will draw tourists or customers to our town and to Main Street specifically, but it will be something people remember. I’d like to make this town really stand out. I want to get all those little details right, the ones that make a place look both unique and timeless. It will reflect the heritage of the great place I live, and showcase our sincere desire to be true to the authenticity of both the time period and the neighborhood aesthetic.

I’d like for each building to design their own color scheme but keep the font and general style uniform through all the storefronts. Clearly this would have to be a majority approved kind of thing, but I’m hopeful that when the time comes, I can have somebody from the Preservation Society there to back me up and provide more of a historical context. I’m always afraid that I’m going to present an idea and my only justification is, “because it looks cool!” Since I don’t want to sound like that, I’ve been doing some research into stained glass. Some of the designs are amazing. If you google stained glass windows, you’ll see what I mean. Shapes, patterns, pictures, and entire stories depicted through tiny fragments of glass. Technically, one thing I have discovered is that the windows are leadlight, but nobody calls it that. Leadlight glass is pretty much stained glass but not in a religious setting, and were made in a less complex style using easier techniques. Hardly anybody uses the term anymore but it is more accurate, so I thought you might like to sound well-read and interesting at your next party or something. It’s called leadlight because the pieces of glass (or maybe were, I am not really friends with anybody who makes them, so I can’t ask) are supported by lead. With the popularity of Tiffany style lamps and the popularity of Art Deco, the two terms became basically synonymous.

So there you have it. Plan 999: restore stained glass address windows.