Before. After. And…WOW!


The “diamond brooch” on the north side of the Cross House, upon my purchase in 2014.


The "diamond brooch" on the north side of the Cross House, a few months ago.

The “diamond brooch” on the north side of the Cross House, today. The stained-glass windows were restored as part of the Heritage Grant.


As I have written previously, I never really noticed the “diamond brooch” before. I knew it was there, of course, but with SO much going on with the house, it just did not jump out at me.

It does now.

I stare at this architectural ensemble in wonder and appreciation. And joy overflows my heart and fills my whole body.





  1. Melody on July 28, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Is there a reason why the decorative curly stuff between the windows are not quite matched? They’re so close that it looks like they should be identical/mirrored.

    • Ross on July 28, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      I think some bits are missing. I am trying to see if I can replace them.

  2. john feuchtenberger on July 28, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    With all respect to Bob Rodak, the Cross House’s EMT after its near-death experience, his treatment of the vine ornamentation was reminiscent of the bramble forest in Sleeping Beauty. I read a critique of the colorist movement, reminding readers that ornate building elements should look architectural, and not like decorative festoons. Your careful restoration of an original color scheme to this splendid triptych shows off its resplendent, elaborate design with dignity, rather than obscuring it with multiple colors. Kudos! (And the glass! Wowza!)

  3. Chloe on July 29, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I have been following your blog after I stumbled upon it in another blog about a year ago. I love old houses, stained glass and restoration. (The perfect trifecta!) Your page is one of the first things I look for when I have my morning coffee. Thank you for sharing your restoration journey with us.

  4. MikeE on July 29, 2016 at 10:50 am

    It looks awesome, just like everything that you’ve done! I’m looking forward to seeing what you decide to do with the trio of windows on the west side. Seeing the before/after pictures is like comparing a B/W movie to one in Technicolor…the difference is jaw-dropping.

  5. Ashton Radley on July 29, 2016 at 11:11 am

    ROSS! I feel like I have fallen into that worm hole you keep discussing when I found your blog on Monday and now I am here! TGIF because I am not sure how I could carry on without more of the Cross House to get me through the week days! I my husband and I bought our first fixer upper last year – a tiny 1905 once schoolhouse in downtown Rockwall, TX. You have given us extra inspiration to always keep going! Thank you! If I ever get to go to Emporia I will HAVE to bug you for a tour!

  6. Derek on July 29, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    That really looks terrific!

  7. Jan on August 3, 2016 at 9:41 am

    You are a extraordinarily patient genius.

  8. Leo on August 5, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    WOW the windows look AMAZING!!! I have a question, I noticed that other houses that have stained glass windows have a protective sheet of clear glass on the outside to protect the image from debris and things like that. The before images makes me think of someone trowing a fistful of gravel to see how much of the window could be broken in one try. Have you ever thought about doing that with your windows?

    • Ross on August 5, 2016 at 10:41 pm

      I have been told that covering the SG windows with a protective sheet of glass can actually damage them! It does weird stuff to the lead caming.

      In addition, the SG windows dance and look so alive as you walk by, and they glitter in the sun. But, they just look dead covered with a sheet of smooth glass. So, it seems a crime to cover up such beauty.

      • phyllis johnson on January 12, 2018 at 6:11 pm

        I was quite pleasantly surprised when I toured The Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis, Indiana. So many beautiful stained glass windows. However you don’t really see the beauty until you are inside looking out through those same windows. The sun on the outside makes them more lovely when looking out.Please post a picture of these windows ( Diamond Brooch ) taken from inside looking out. TY in advance

  9. Sandra Diane Lee on March 22, 2017 at 5:40 am

    The Diamond Brooch is breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Projects like this give you so much enjoyment Ross! This has been such an amazing journey so far! This project was supremely special!! I love love love those windows!

  10. Marie on April 23, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I am sure the house loves you as much as you love her.

  11. Russ Feldbusch on August 27, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    excellent as always

Leave a Comment

Your email address will NEVER be made public or shared, and you may use a screen name if you wish.