The Cross House

More Stained-Glass Windows. DONE!

The second-floor sewing room at the Cross House has, like almost all the rooms, stained-glass transom windows. There are 42 such windows in the house, which is remarkable. Astonishing, really. When I first purchased the house I thought all the windows were in situ but then realized that there had originally been 43 stained-glass windows.

One had gone missing!

The errant window was in the sewing room, was the east transom, and overlooked the sleeping porch. When the porch was later enclosed the east window was transformed into a door and, thus, the 43rd stained-glass transom vanished.

The pair of south transom windows remained, as did the west transom. It is highly likely that the missing east transom matched the extant west transom.

As part of the 2017 Heritage Trust Fund Grant, the three remaining stained-glass transoms have been restored! And the restored west transom is being used as a template to recreate the lost east transom!


The pair of south transom windows were in rough shape and with patches of duct tape!


The poor dears!


The other day I returned to Hoefer Stained Glass to picked up the restored pair! That is my friend Carl.


The restored south pair! The wood sashes need to be restored, and the stained-glass bedded and glazed.


The west transom! All lovely and perfect! I left this with Hoefer so they can create a matching version.


The pair were snuggled in my car for their return home! In about two weeks they will be back in place!




8 Responses to More Stained-Glass Windows. DONE!

  1. Very exciting! While I love everything about the Cross house, the incredible stained glass is my hands down favorite feature. No matter how you decorate, the stained glass will shine and throw such interesting light and color into each room. Congratulations!

  2. Hi Ross,
    You’ve mentioned many times that you are keen to avoid confusing the Cross House ‘narrative’ by putting in reproduction switches, kitchen etc. You’ve said when something new goes in, it must look new.

    I’m curious as to why you’ve opted not to stick to that policy with the window? Don’t get me wrong – in your shoes I would be doing totally the same thing, I’m just keen to hear your reasoning.

    Just an idea for you: perhaps having a Reproduction stained glass window could offer you the opportunity to have a little fun? You could even have a unique window depicting the restoration in stages. Or leave your mark? How about having your initials and the year of restoration etched into the copy window, or maybe even your full name? I think you’ve earned it. You are of course not only the future of this house, but now a part of its history.

    • Hi, Jordan!

      Installing antique-looking light switches throughout the house would confuse the historical narrative as the Cross House essentially had no light switches when new. Thus, I plan to install obviously modern switches.

      But regarding, for example, porch column capitals which were lost, I had no issue creating new ones by taking molds of the originals. Thus, the new capitals are new but replicate a lost feature.

      So, too, with recreating the single lost stained-glass window. I know one such window was lost over time and I know where it was and its exact size. And it almost certainly matched the window opposite.

      To me, this is not confusing the historical narrative for I am recreating a lost feature. I will not introduce a feature the house never had and try and pass it off as original.

      I will be doing the same with the lost parts of the staircase. I know exactly what the lost parts looked like, and their size and placement. So, the lost parts will be recreated.

      When I added book shelves in the library, I installed obviously modern shelving because I had no idea if the library had built-in shelving originally.

      In short:
      1) If a feature is lost and I know exactly what it looked like, I am delighted to recreate it.
      2) If a feature is lost and I have zero information about it, or if it never existed, I am exceedingly wary about trying to recreate it in a manner which would make people assume it was original.

  3. Hey Ross,

    NIce! I was just chatting about your decision to go period correct or 1950s renovation. I totally get that and although you and I I share numerous design sensibilities I am not a 1950s fan in architecture. (Advertising, music and film yes) But I totally get that concept and creating a 1950s renovation is cool and fun. My time period is 1890s – 1940s max. Fussy, fussy I know.

    Have fun and enjoy!

  4. Hi Ross,

    I am likely the one who is confused! Actually I read an old post about bathrooms (I was reading VivaciousVictorians) and I came upon a reply from you about maintaining period correct restoration, but when not that is not possible, diverging into another time period. I thought I saw a comment about doing a bath at Cross House as though it had been a 1950s update. I think you like to 50s as one of your time periods.

    I do totally enjoy how this bunch of readers reads so many of the same blogs. Truly cool and a community.

    PS everything is looking way gorgeous!

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