A Coverup

As each room in the Cross House receives it restored stained-glass transom windows, I delight in making sure the room is lighted at night so the windows can be enjoyed by anybody driving or walking by.

One day, an elderly woman stopped by to say that, every time her granddaughter visits, she demands to be taken by the “big house” so she can look at all the pretty windows.

I loved hearing this.

So far, I have the triple windows on the second-floor north facade backlighted, and the windows in the octagon and long bedrooms. The dining room stained-glass was finished last year but I needed to somehow curtain the curved windows so people cannot see in at night. I mean, the focus should be on the pretty windows and not a room which looks like a bomb has gone off in it! However, with the room so very far from being ready for curtains, I just kept the room dark at night.

Then, last week, I had a thought: Just cover the curved windows with sheets.

Oh. A most excellent idea! Thus, I ordered flat sheets in a kinda gold color, which arrived today. All excited, I rushed to the house, stapled them to the inside frames of the curved dining room windows, stepped outside to see the effect, and liked it.


The effect.


The flat windows have Venetian blinds.

Light comes through the sheets, so the windows still read as windows from inside.

After both windows were done, I screwed in two LED bulbs which will be on 24/7. I just wish I could see the effect at night!

Inspired as such, I came home and ordered more sheets so I can do the first-floor of the round tower. And with that done, I can also back-light the triple stained-glass windows in the stairhall niche, and the stained-glass panel over the front doors!!!!!!!!!!

All this is but a minor thing but I am THRILLED!




  1. Cindy Belanger on September 5, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    With all the stained glass windows back lit, the Cross House will be as bright and stunning as a Christmas tree. And I mean that in a good way. Seeing it in person will be better than the pictures, but do show the pics of all the windows lit up.

    • Ross on September 5, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      Cindy, I can never get a good image of the house at night, lighted. I would need a MUCH more sophisticated camera.

  2. Sandra Lee on September 5, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Bravo Ross!

    • Ross on September 5, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      Thank you, Sandra!

  3. Sandra Lee on September 5, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Tres bien!

    Cross House— Bellssimo (sic)!

  4. Barb Sanford on September 5, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Now when I get to town, I’ll have to drive by the house twice — once in the daylight, once at night. Fun!

  5. SEB on September 5, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    sweet 🙂

  6. Diana on September 5, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    There’s always anthemion curtains…

  7. Mike on September 5, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    I understand the need to show the beauty of a house in the midst of restoration…I reinstalled our stained glass window and trimmed it out, even though the wall it is in is still wrapped in Tyvek. I am sure that the residents of Emporia are thrilled.

  8. john feuchtenberger on September 6, 2018 at 9:47 am

    I am certain that the Kansas Historical Society is most pleased with the bang for the buck it has received from its two Heritage Grants to the Cross House. Your work embodies the title of the great 1976 book “A Gift To The Street” by Olwell and Waldhorn-not only in daily and nightly displaying historic design, preservation and restoration, but in your blog. You curate rare references, invaluable hints, scarce resources, and attract the most knowledgeable of commentators. Please don’t be embarrassed by ruined interiors awaiting their turn. I visited Washington frequently in the 70’s, when the Willard was a crack house and the decrepit grand mansions of Logan Circle daily witnessed drug and human trafficking. Still, constantly burning in the hall of the U.S. Grant, Jr. house was a monumental chandelier, reminding of what was and what could be. And look at it now!! https://www.google.com/search?q=1,2+logan+circle&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZrteqzqbdAhVInlkKHWvYDSUQ_AUICygC&biw=1366&bih=673#imgrc=IrrT_bnNHpFXGM:&spf=1536244929807

  9. Randy C on September 6, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    I wish I had a contact at the Emporia Gazette. They would have a photographer that could take beautiful night pictures and it would seem to me that this would make a great human interest story for the citizens of Emporia. (I am assuming, of course, that the Emporia Gazette is still in publication).

    As some of you probably know (and certainly Ross does), the stained glass windows are one of my favorite features of the Cross House. It is remarkable that all but one were still intact after all of the house’s history of varied uses. I continue to marvel at the way the house is coming together and looking more beautiful and distinctive with each small piece that is restored and re-painted!

  10. Devyn on September 7, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Ah, the beauty of low low wattage LED lighting. I have always loved leaving lights on throughout the house and now with LED lighting, I can do so with very little concerns about a big electric bill (or excess heat). In fact, I now have some sconces switched on 24/7 so there is always light in the stairwell.

  11. Meike Boehm on September 14, 2018 at 2:58 am

    If Cody asked about color, I’d like to ask for why the right bracket above the curved window is still raw wood? (1st picture)
    Hope you don’t mind me asking!
    Greetings from Germany, Meike

    • Ross on September 14, 2018 at 7:31 am

      I am workin’ on it, Meike!

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