Stained-Glass Windows…A Miraculous Resurrection!



The north facade of the Cross House, 1999. The house was boarded up and surrounded by a chain-link fence. See the boarded-up windows in the center? Above the porch, to the left of the red chimney? These light the upper stair hall.



And inside. In 1929 the windows no longer lighted the upper stair hall, because two kitchens were created in this space to service two new adjacent studio apartments. So, the upper stair hall got very dark. But the kitchens had great windows! It is a miracle, however, that the stained-glass windows were not replaced with windows more suited for a kitchen. In 2014, I tore out the wall dividing the space, and the stained-glass windows, once again, graced the upper stair hall.



Some of the windows did not look TOO bad, like this set. But you can see the missing bits, and the many cracked pieces of glass. Note the center medallion in the lower sash. It is an oval-spaced piece of beveled glass surrounded by jade glass jewels.



And some windows looked really bad. When I first saw the house in 1999, during a public tour, I stood before this window for a long time. My heart went out to it. While I had the same reaction to the whole house, this window, as I stared and stared at it, generated in me a desperate desire to save the Cross House. This window. The feeing never went away, and I purchased the house in 2014. This window.



The same image, but note how the center medallion and jade jewels are missing. I was SO sad about this. The medallion, I knew, could be recreated (at great expense) but replacing the jewels would likely be impossible. Then, shortly after I purchased the house, the former owner, Bob Rodak, was clearing out some final things, when he handed me a small box. “I keep meaning to give this to you.” I looked at Bob curiously, and opened the box. And gasped! Gasped! Nestled inside some soft tissue was the intact medallion surrounded by its glittering jade jewels! “Bob! Where did you find it?” Bob explained that after he purchased the house in 1999, and was cleaning up, he found the jewel cluster in a pile of broken glass, rotted leaves, and other debris under the window. Not realizing the cluster was in the pile, he almost threw it away! But something glittered and caught his eye.



As part of the Heritage Grant, the first work to commence was, of course, the restoration of the upper stair hall stained-glass. This is THE window, after being sent to the emergency room at Hoefer Stained Glass. You can see how little is left. But, see the medallion cluster saved by Bob!!!!!!



You know, Elizabeth adored her jewels…



…and I adore mine.


Today, I went to pick up the restored windows.

Today, I went to pick up the windows. This is THE man, Scott Hoefer. His nephew, Eric Hoefer, restored the windows.



Again, THE window, 2014. Now, scroll way down, but first make sure you are sitting down, and, oh, grab a tissue…

























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I gasp! GASP! I tear up! My heart does flips! My joy soars! Thank-you, Scott and Eric!!!!!! Thank-you!!!!!! This seems like a miracle! That something SO damaged could be made whole again and GORGEOUS again!!!!!! I gasp! And thank you, Bob, for saving the medallion!!!!!!



  1. MarjorieMorningstar on February 9, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Gasp Gasp indeed. I am so delighted to view this near miracle. We devoted followers need this once in awhile. Enjoy this. I know this will lift your spirits . It did mine.

  2. ken on February 9, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    After a long day of teaching I can not wait to come home and read a new post. The window is perfect and beautiful. Thank you for all the tender care you are giving the Cross house

  3. Sharol on February 9, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Oh WOW,Oh WOW, Oh WOW!!!!!!! Soooo excited for you!

  4. Bearded Bi*ch on February 10, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Absolutely beautiful! Even Liz Taylor would would be smitten with the beauty of these jeweled windows!

  5. Betsy on February 10, 2016 at 1:56 am

    omg !!!

  6. Sandra G. McNichol on February 10, 2016 at 2:30 am

    Beautiful, wonderful, and magnifique! Bravo, Ross!

  7. Connie in Hartwood on February 10, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Beautiful jewels for a special lady! Such a stroke of luck, Bob finding that center element. Restored, this window is a thing of wonder.

  8. Marta Barnett on February 10, 2016 at 7:53 am


  9. Barb Sanford on February 10, 2016 at 9:10 am

    What Marjorie said. And Ken. And all the others. It’s a little miracle, right in plain sight, where lucky visitors to the Cross House will be able to see it. So happy for you and the Cross House.

  10. Marti on February 10, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Oh My! Lovely…and in my world worth the wait! I finished reading your entire blog before the start of the Super Bowl and have been breathlessly awaiting your next post! Thank you for sharing…

  11. Michele on February 10, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Beautiful!!! So amazing any of it survived!

  12. Marie on February 10, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I said, “OH MY WORD!” so loudly that I disturbed my sleeping dog beside me. That window is absolutely stunning, and it makes me so happy to see it restored!

  13. Carrie on February 10, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    This makes my heart happy!

  14. Travis on February 10, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    That looks wonderful Ross. I know how great it will feel to see all the stained glass restored and back in place.

  15. Lisa Phillips on October 24, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Absolutely outstandingly beautiful work!!! Really gorgeous!

  16. David on May 24, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Congratulations to all who had a hand in saving this gorgeous window and the house as a whole. Even as a beginner in the stained glass craft, I can certainly understand the emotions involved with this project. I remember an old house on the westside of Baltimore back when I was a child that had a turret and stained glass upper sashes on the three second floor turret windows. The windows were curved to match the turret wall circumference. The house was demolished some years back, replaced by a parking lot, and I figured the windows were destroyed. To my surprise, they ended up in a stained glass salvage store in PA. It still is sad that the house was razed but at least someone had the foresight to save the beautiful windows for future use.

  17. Liz on August 9, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    I am continually amazed by the small and large miracles surrounding the Cross House! Perhaps it’s your positive, optimistic outlook that brings all of these things to light in writing, but it truly does seem that a lot of your work has been blessed! Of course, it’s a tremendous amount of hard work and wisdom on your part, as well.

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