York Town Square

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Church to celebrate 260th anniversary in 2012: Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, Pa., Part Last

Rudy Art Studio, a turn-of-the-20th-century York, Pa., business made this window among many 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.

First Moravian Church member Terrence Downs has provided information on numerous stained-glass windows at First Moravian Church.
This piece is the last in the series… .

Many windows are identifiable in York First, but some units mimic themselves and add a level of enhancement and serenity, which engage the eye and the heart. A stop in the Zinzendorf Mens Bible Class shows windows that were integrated in 1927 when that room was retrofitted as a kitchen yet style matches units in the Sunday Assembly Room. Respite for the Ladies’ in the lower Narthex is met by a stunning ruby red lower panel which is a mix of Noveau, Rococo and neo-Grecian. Each sash is a visual treat to the soul.
Many windows and glass door panels in varied styles add richness and beauty to York First Moravian and are passed daily and weekly. Yet these century-old units have served well despite their age and without them, the imposing style of the building would be not as complete. Over the span of a century, some windows through remodeling have been lost (sliding doors with glass panels were removed 1927 from the Sunday School Department area where today’s Sunday School rostrum is located).
First Moravian is not singular in their possession of high-style windows as Downtown Churches each have detailing which sets their motif apart from other facilities. However, it is both fortunate and a sign of good stewardship that many of the original units are yet in service at First. In years to come, additional work needs to be contemplated and also vision to the viability of re-activating the 6 hinged transoms in the Sanctuary and 5 Narthex windows to create a stronger cross-ventilation as was installed in 1910 and compromised in the 1970’s during spiking energy prices and conservation. Also the immense Beauchamp H. Smith window affront the Church will need painstaking attention due to its size, weight, a century of western sunlight and caming decay. In these challenging fiscal times, where will the resources spring forth to retain this icon?
In true Pennsylvania Dutch manner and York First fortitude, it is through God that we have remained steadfast since 1752. As we hearken in 2012 to our 260th Anniversary, may we become sincerely cognizant to comprehend what York First, the Congregation and these windows dispel on the York Scene, inspiring anew those gathering inside the walls in daytime, and their hued, lustred beauty at night when illumined from within these walls shining outward on York.
It has been gratifying to present this series summary of these noteworthy J. Horace Rudy “works of art”, and they will serve for generations to come – as will venerable York First Moravian on the Greater York Pennsylvania renaissance vista.

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.

Rudy windows overlook this scene at First Moravian Church.