The Stunning Before-and-After Pics of Second Presbyterian’s Peace Window Restoration



Some of the most amazing pieces of architecture in Chicago are its churches. And one of the best churches in town has just been given a significant upgrade.

Second Presbyterian Church (1936 South Michigan Avenue) in the South Loop recently had one of its big windows re-installed after a $312,000 restoration.

The Peace Window before (left) and after restoration (right). (Base photographs courtesy of Friends of Historic Second Church. Composite by Chicago Architecture Blog)

The Peace Window was badly damaged, and encrusted with a hundred years of filth. If you think the dirt on your office windows is bad, remember that this window lived through a period when there was a rail yard a couple of blocks away filled with coal-burning freight engines; and the period in time when burning stuff was the primary way people heated their homes and offices in Chicago.

(Courtesy of Friends of Historic Second Church)

In the photograph above, you can see the Peace Window hand-restored by Venturella Studio in New York flanked by two other Second Presbyterian windows which have not yet been restored.

The 1903 Peace Window is 16 feet tall, 8 feet wide, and made of about 7,500 individual pieces of glass. Each one of those pieces were made by Tiffany Studios, and had to be individually cleaned and the entire window re-leaded. The window has eight siblings at Second Presbyterian, all with the same Tiffany pedigree.

Jim Murphy of Venturella Studio re-leading the Peace Window (Courtesy of Friends of Historic Second Church)

The Peace Window is named for the angel at the center of the design holding a banner with the word Peace on it. There is also an angel labeled Consolation.

Tiffany pedigree now visible after being hidden by dirt for years (Courtesy of Friends of Historic Second Church)


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