Glittering Jewels


It’s hard getting a good image of the stained-glass windows of the Cross House lighted up from the inside. This image is from a few weeks ago, and was taken just before the sun set, and on an overcast day. Click images to enlarge.


And this image was taken today, just after the sun had set.


No image captures the best aspect of the many stained-glass windows: They sparkle and glitter as you pass by. The effect is magical. Just utterly magical.

Recently, somebody I know stopped me in the post office. She told me that, when she is in Emporia after dark, she goes out of her way to drive slowly by the house. “I drive by, then turn around, and drive by again, and turn around, and drive by again. The stained-glass is SO gorgeous! And, because I slow down so much to appreciate the windows, I fear causing a traffic accident!”

This made me happy.

All the stained-glass windows are being restored as part of two Heritage Trust Fund grants. About 85% are now restored, and the remaining windows will be restored in 2019. Kansas is the only state I know of which offers such support for historic structures. 





  1. Matt on November 27, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    They look beautiful and full of life. You even have a little snow there unlike Minnesota. The Cross House loves you and it shows.

    • Ross on November 27, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      Thank you, Matt!

      Your house loves you, too!

    • Dawn Rocco on November 28, 2018 at 1:56 am

      Shhhhhh, hush now Matt, the snow will be here soon enough. Where do you live in Minnesota?

      • Matt on November 28, 2018 at 11:57 am

        I am in St Paul. Some friends up north I believe have snow but our twin cities have none as of yet. Trust me I’m not complaining. I’m outside today in 10 degree weather putting up Garland and lights in preparation for the white blanket that is inevitably soon to come.

        • Dawn Rocco on November 28, 2018 at 1:22 pm

          I’m in Eden Prairie, we’re neighbors :). Small world. I like the snow just don’t like driving in it. Ross doesn’t even need to dress up the Cross House for the holidays it’s dressed up all the time. Beautiful!

  2. Leigh on November 27, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    So kind and generous of you, Ross to share the beauty of the stained glass with the community. You are a fabulous neighbor.

    • Leigh on November 27, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      The Heritage Trust Fund chose well when they alloted the money to you. You not only restore the Cross House, you also bring joy to the locals and visitors.

  3. Jakob on November 28, 2018 at 2:32 am

    And to think think the middle upper stair window was hidden behind a kitchen cupboard for most of its life! I’m happy that black eye is healed and sparkles yet. They really make a house come to life!

    Do you have them backlit in any special way or is this just the lights in each room? The boyfriend and I want to show off a stained glass window his mom made for our little 1905 rental cottage.

  4. Carlos on November 28, 2018 at 4:54 am

    Hello, I’m from Spain and I’ve been following the reform of your fantastic house for a while.

    Take a look at this page to see if you see something familiar …

    • Ross on November 28, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Hi, Carlos!

      Very nice to meet you!

      The page you link to is….wild. That is my floor plan, but not quite my floor plan!

    • Mike on November 28, 2018 at 11:08 am

      That is bizarre; the floor plan is too close to identical to be a fluke. I wonder if our Mr. Squires may have based the Cross House on a already published plan, or if someone saw the Cross House plan and embellished it to create the one on Carlos’ website; my guess would be the latter, but it looks like this webpage was published pre-2014, when this blog was started, so how would someone have known the layout without firsthand knowledge? Mysterious…

      • Ross on November 28, 2018 at 11:15 am

        1) There is zero question that is the plan of the Cross House, albeit modified.

        2) The previous owner had it on his website.

        • Mike on November 28, 2018 at 12:03 pm

          I forgot about the former owner’s website, so mystery solved. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…I’ve spent hours poring over various websites searching for my house’s plans; I’ve never found it, although I have found a few pictures of houses that look nearly identical to mine. Several years ago, I went to an estate sale in a town a few miles from us, and was stunned to find that the house was a twin to mine, right down to the staircase. A few months later my wife and I were in that town shopping, and I drove her by the address to show her our twin, only to find that the house gone and a couple of duplexes being built on the lot…

        • Brian A on November 28, 2018 at 9:00 pm

          As a floor plan fanatic, I’m fascinated by this. Yes, it’s modified (e.g., the porches, the round breakfast room, the simplified stair), but it also includes some of the unoriginal modifications shown in the 21st century online-published Cross House plans, such as the exterior dining room door that has (thankfully!) been returned to a window.

  5. Grace on November 29, 2018 at 11:58 am

    I’m very grateful I live nearby and don’t have to drive out of my way to enjoy the glimmering jewels of The cRoss House at night. I also sometimes drive around the block to enjoy every twinkling window. Thank you Ross, for all your loving care of what has become one of the crown jewels of Emporia.

  6. Lis on December 1, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Dear Ross,
    if it ever happens in the future that I visit the states, I will for sure not miss the chance to pass by your glorious house, just to admire these beauties.
    Warm greetings from good old Vienna, Austria

  7. kay on December 18, 2018 at 9:02 pm


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