Suicidal Stained-Glass?

The Cross House by Charles. W. Squires.

The Cross House when brand new. See the round tower? See the large window at the bottom of the tower? See the horizontal stained-glass panel just above the large window?


See the blank dormer windows? They hurt my eyes...

Again, see the horizontal stained-glass panel?



The horizontal stained-glass panel. Image from last summer.



The horizontal stained-glass panel. Image from yesterday. I came to the house only to discover that the window had, seemingly, leapt to its death and crashed on the ground, twisted and deformed. Tears welled up in my eyes. My heart hurt.



Then I remembered the huge wind from two days previous. Ahhh. So, no suicide. It was MURDER! The wind ruthlessly sucked the window out and threw it to the ground.



From inside the round tower, pre-ruination.


This year the Cross House was awarded a substantial grant, in part to restore the 40 stained-glass windows in the Cross House. The damage above is a testament to the need of such work. Had the window not been so terribly fragile, it would not have been affected by the wind. It is interesting that the window managed to survive 120-years of storms and high winds and even the occasional tornado to hit Emporia, but this week, this week, it at last reached its snapping point. From what I can tell, the weight of the window, combined with the wind, caused the bottom row of clear beveled-glass pieces to buckle, and then give way. The window then fell out.

Luckily, I believe the window can be restored. Actually, I am amazed it survived as well as it did. I found very little broken glass, just lots of intact pieces which I picked up. The panel is even intact enough, I think, for the pattern to be rightfully recreated, and I have additional pre-damage images. Oddly, the very fragility of the panel caused both its destruction, and will prove its salvation. Because the panel was so fragile (meaning that the lead caming was brittle and broken all over), it was the lead which broke apart upon crashing to the ground rather than the glass.

So, as bad things go…this is a bit of a start but not too bad.

In a few months, I look forward with great anticipation doing the sequel to this post: Stained-Glass REBORN!


  1. Mary Garner-Mitchell on November 14, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Heartbreaking, Ross! If the grant comes up short, I’m happy to contribute. Your blog is so delightful, it’s the least I can do!

  2. Carrie on November 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    🙁 My heart sank at the picture of it on the ground, fingers crossed that it does go back together perfectly and no one will have to know about this.

    • Ross on November 17, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      I won’t tell if you don’t! Our secret!

  3. Janet on November 15, 2015 at 10:05 am

    My heart broke when I heard this story last week. I am so happy it can be restored, and you have many of the original pieces left. So sad.

  4. ken on November 16, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Glad the window is in your hands Ross. We all know you will take good care of it.

  5. Seth Hoffman on October 14, 2016 at 9:26 am

    That would leave a sinking feeling in my gut too!

    We have several original leaded-glass panels in our house, but they are still pretty solid and very flat. I have storm windows over them, but if I did not, I would be nervous about their condition in stormy weather too.

  6. Mary Ann Lammersen on November 16, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I look forward to reading your wonderful writing. What a great adventure! Congrats on all the work you have done so far! In the dining room I am sitting in right now is a beautiful stained glass window that looks very much like the one that blew out of the Cross House. So I wonder if this one was made in the 1890’s also. It was salvaged from a beautiful old house in Vancouver, Canada, in the 70’s when all the sad tear-downs happened. Not many of those beauties left! Thanks for taking care of her.

    • Ross on November 18, 2016 at 8:10 am

      And thank YOU for your wonderful comment!

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