Ocean facing window with second row restored
No wonder Pepperdine considers their Stauffer Chapel their "Crown Jewel". The way the light comes through the stained glass at various times of the day creates a magical air. The chapel was dedicated in 1973, just after the University opened in 1972. All the glass used was manufactured by the Blenko Glass Co. in Milton, West Virginia. Donovan Art Glass, a stained glass studio in Burbank, CA at the time fabricated the leaded panels and installed them. It caused quite a stir then and today every visitor to the Chapel is in awe.
Over the past 42 years the elements, and heat have played havoc on the windows. There is very bad bowing, and broken pieces exist throughout the installation. As a remedy heavy steel supports were attached to the steel framework of the church and then the windows were glued to the steel bars. In addition a dual glazing was added to the outside. The extra protection from the windows and blowing rain surely extended the life of the windows.
In the fall of 2012 we were asked to bid on the restoration of a single "test" panel. The idea was to see just what difficulties would be encountered in the restoration. We won the project, and in the early part of 2013 removed the panel and started to soak, clean, replace broken pieces, and relead the panel. We were able to get sufficient matching glass from the Blenko Glass Company to cover the broken pieces. This panel was at the bottom, and as a result had been subjected to floor level abuse. In short there were many broken pieces.
Since the Blenko glass can be quite thick we had to use high heart lead. Some of the lead is 1 1/2" wide, while the remainder is 5/8", 1/2", and 5/16". We were able to obtain the lead from DHD Metals in Conyers, GA., about 20 miles East of Atlanta. Of course we recycle all the old lead, which as you can imagine adds up.
In addition to releading we also changed the support structure. The original panels were installed with only two 1/2" vertical reinforcing bars. It was obvious that this was insufficient for the type if installation(Each panel is 6 feet x 4 feet). We used 5/8" steel reinforcing bars and bent them along the lead lines of the window. This made them vertually invisible from the chapel floor. In further panels we moved the reinforcing bars to the outer facing side. While the general rule is to put the support on the inside in this case the protection of the exterior glazing protects the bars from the elements and dirt. It also stops the wind so that the window is not pushed away from the bars. We also removed the heavy steel horizontal and vertical supports. This not only cleaned up the clutter, but really brought out the majesty of the original plan. We have thus far finished one complete row and are half way through another.
Note the change in the bottom row with the vertical and horizontal supports removed.
After the trustees saw what the window should look like they gave us the go ahead to restore the compete window. After this there is a duplicate window in the rear of the church.We still have a lot to do, and I will keep you informed along the way. As you can imagine it is very rewarding to be part of a project such as this.
You can see other restoration projects we have worked on at
1426 4th St
Santa Monica, CA 90401
866 764 6513