Time for our weekly update! As I have mentioned before, things are pretty fluid here and what I may have shared with you this past Sunday has now changed. The stained glass specialist our insurance agent sent to us from New Jersey, was here this past Monday. His words of wisdom have changed a few of the pre-laid plans.
A stained glass company from Grand Rapids, Pristine Glass Company, is here as we speak numbering window panes and taping glass together in preparation for movement to New York. The entire Te Deum window will be taken down frame-by-frame starting tomorrow. The panels will be crated and shipped to a company in New York who will create an entire new frame for the window out of aluminum. The current frame is wood and has sustained substantial damage. Pretty incredible and impressive!
The stained glass window situated above the Te Deum window has been removed and will also be sent to New York for new framing. This window is much older and we suspect it was part of the original St. Paul’s church. The recommendation is not to restore the window to its original place as no one can appreciate its beauty, but rather find a new place whether it be the Memorial Garden or a spot inside our facility where we can appreciate the beauty of the window. The hope is to re-create the pattern of this window in brick or limestone in its original place in the wall.
At the same time we are selecting brick colors for both the interior and exterior walls. The wall being disasembled brick-by-brick really is three walls — and exterior brick wall, an interior brick wall, and a middle wall made of cinder block and ‘junk brick’. The original bricks for both the interior and exterior walls are no longer manufactured so it has been an adventure to select new bricks that closely match both color and texture. Imagine, if you will, the exterior wall alone is constructed with four different colors of bricks and we are trying to match each one of them. The same is also true for the interior.
As the masons remove the current wall, many of the bricks are being saved so they can be used to help blend the new wall into the old wall at the pillars. No more bricks will be removed until the Te Deum window is safely down, crated and on its way to New York. Then the masons will return and work from both the inside and outside to remove the rest of the wall. We are still unsure as to how far down the wall must be removed. Hopefully that will be resolved this week.
We will continue to take daily photographs so that you all may see the progression of the work. Each Sunday you will have the opportunity to view either the scrapbook or the photos on the TV. My continued thanks and appreciation for those who are bringing food for the workers (and the office personnel) and for those giving of their time to assist us in maintaining a daily routine when life here is anything but routine.
Please take care of yourselves and give thanks for all of our blessings.