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 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…
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!!!!!!