York Town Square

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Restored window is ‘striking, familiar symbol’: Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, Pa., Part 16

Rudy Art Studio, a turn-of-the-20th-century York, Pa., business made this stained-glass window at York’s First Moravian Church, one of many made for the North Duke Street building. Also of interest: All Rudy stained-glass window posts from the start and York native Steve Zirnkilton’s ‘Law & Order’ voice known to the world and York County enthusiasts could find historical event, site to visit every day.

Terrence Downs provides information on this window, hidden to many worshippers at First Moravian Church… .

“Come, all of you who are gifted craftsmen, Construct everything that the Lord has commanded.” Exodus 36, vs. 10.
Not unlike many churches of the vintage as is First Moravian, both time and elements effect what was designed to “last a lifetime”, and need a thorough revamping to see an extension into our lifetimes. Timeless tributes can paralyze our resources and even thinking – the how to pay for it, who can do it, what’s an alternative. Each of these questions play out in our City, with monuments to God & man and prioritizing becomes a game of shrewd vision – especially in these economic times. Such is the story of our window which was previously featured in Installment #4 – March 2010.
At a time when the Church was more prosperous and saw the need for facilities enlargement in 1927 (175th Anniversary of the congregation), the program to provide a combined youth Education center & gymnasium, retrofitted kitchen facilities and new choir room were designed and prepared by Robert Stair, respected York architect. Enlarging the rear southeast corner of the original sanctuary building for the new choir room & new kitchen, equipping new windows in style of the 1910 Rudy Bros. rococo windows was the order. Interestingly, the newer (1927) window also required extensive restoration, and in right fashion – the company bearing the name to its origin provided the restoration. Rudy Glass works recamed and reset the 700+ approximate pieces of glass within a new wood sash and reinstalled to its original place. The service of the window was necessary to meet with Historic mandates from the York HARB Board.
Additionally the sash & frame of the southern exposed unit – which was unaffected by a 2 story building being erected in the early 1980’s to the south (unlike the sanctuary windows which now are diffused on the south due to the structure) weathered to a point of severe decay. Bradenbaugh Enterprises, Incorporated (shown with refurbished sash unit in Autumn 2010) carefully removed the fragile unit so Rudy Stained Glass in Downtown York could receive the glass pieces intact for its restoration, and in turn the carpentry contractor could refurbish the frame and sill, and reconstruct ‘in-kind’ the bottom wood sash for a new installation accommodating the restored glass unit with new lead caming.
Those at First Church who ascend a rear ancillary stair behind the S. Morgan Smith memorial unit that graces the altar of the sanctuary are greeted head-on by this striking, familiar symbol – ablaze with hues of lapis blues and mottled greens that radiate a vivid character when illumined by direct southern daylight, or at varied periods of dawn & dusk. A commendable work, and our appreciation to Rudy Stained Glass & Bradenbaugh Contractors, as First Church is striving to preserve such treasures and be good stewards to our artifacts of our historic facility.

Also of interest:
Window in memorial to Beauchamp H. Smith: Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, Part 10.
Window in memorial to S. Morgan Smith, Part 5.
First Moravian’s website.
All York Town Square posts from the start. (Key word search by using “find” on browser.) Or search Google. For example: search yorktownsquare and first moravian and you get this.