Current Project: Stained Glass Restoration
The Stained Glass Windows of Trinity, Artistry of Edna Browning Ruby
by Dr. Steve Ash
Construction of Trinity’s church building began in 1868. The Sanctuary was completed in 1872. The large windows throughout the building were designed to hold stained glass, which was created by artists in Pittsburgh and Saint Louis. In the late 1890s a young child in Lafayette, Edna Browning Ruby, was an active participant in Trinity’s youth group and regularly attended church with her family. She grew into a “charmingly feminine” young woman, with a great talent in the arts. After various other mediums, she turned to the study of stained glass. She was the only woman in the US to design, build and install stained glass windows, and her reputation in ecclesiastical art was widespread. Recognizing her remarkable talent, the church asked Edna to design and install the beautiful windows of the church that we see today.
From the inside of the church, the windows are colorful, beautiful and inspiring, as shown in the great window above the church main entrance (Picture A, below). However, on closer inspection the windows have some serious problems. Many pieces of glass are fractured, broken, and some have been replaced with glass of mismatched color. The lead “came” framework which holds the glass pieces is deteriorating on many windows and many windows have bulged inward or outward at the bottom (Picture C, below). Sometime in the 1960s, a rippled glass glazing was placed over the windows, to protect them from damage from the elements outside. This glazing was the type common at the time, which covered the elegant woodwork of the windows as well as the stained glass. This glazing has now become cloudy and detracts from the outside appearance of the windows (Picture B, below). Further, the lack of ventilation behind the glazing has contributed to deterioration of the window woodwork.
Trinity plans to undertake repair, restoration, stabilization and preservation of the stained glass windows and to conduct this project in four phases, with windows on one side of the church being restored each year. This will be a very large and complex project. There are a total of 35 stained-glass windows.
Phase I (planned to begin in summer, 2022) will be the restoration of windows on the South side of the church. Plans for funding include:
Help us preserve our history!
A gift to our stained glass restoration project will help keep Trinity's historic windows around for many more years so future generations can appreciate their artistry and historical significance.
C) An image showing how some of the windows have bulged outward.
Past Projects: Brick Resotration
Before and After
Beginning in 2016, Trinity worked to restore our bricks. This effort was accomplished through grant funding and donations from our community! The pictures to the right show a before and after of the bricks which illustrate just how needed the work was. Thank you for supporting this project and helping us preserve our building for generations to come!