** Guest blog post by Chris Clemens, detailing the amazing treasure of having a plethora of Tiffany stained glass windows in Western NY!**
Chris Clemens is Rochester resident, born and raised. He is one half of the duo responsible for the former Exploring The Burned Over District blog about visiting unique and historical sacred sites of all faiths in Upstate New York. He is also the creator of the Exploring Upstate blog and is a contributor to Atlas Obscura as well as a good friend…
There are a number of stained glass windows in St. Paul’s created by a few different artists, one of which is often thought to be a Tiffany and is not (many believe it is a LaFarge.) Luckily, there is an exquisite example of both drapery glass and how Tiffany used double-panes to create both new colors and to create the visual effect of three dimensional horizons. Checkout how the people toward the bottom seem closer, and the ones higher up appear to be further in the distance. This window is low enough to the ground that you get to see some of Tiffany’s work up close!
505 Mount Hope Avenue Rochester, NY 14620
Just up the street from a few others on the list, Third Presbyterian Church celebrates a long and important Christian history, in addition to an incredible stained glass window collection. Some hard working volunteers have even created posters and educational materials to teach visitors about the windows. When there are tours of stained glass in the Rochester area, Third Presbyterian is almost always on the list of stops.
With an 18′ diameter rose window and two smaller rose windows, St. Mary’s is home to a fantastic example of turtle back glass and actually is one of the few places that you can see Tiffany’s signature in a window! The colors in this one are simply awe-inspiring! The volunteers of St. Mary’s have done a fantastic job documenting the history of all of the windows in the church and have written a book that is available. Checkout their website to purchase, or to contact them for a tour.
While the years above are simply a best guess, there isn’t a ton of documentation available on these windows. What is definite, is that this collection is one of the larger in the city and most definitely worth a look!
While this church has a number of stained glass windows by multiple artists, one Tiffany exists in the center of the South wall in the sanctuary. Unfortunately, there isn’t much documentation on this one either, but it’s absolutely beautiful!
When I called the interfaith office for the hospital for more information on this memorial window, I was told there wasn’t a window in the chapel and that no one wanted to answer any questions about it. However, there is indeed a Tiffany window in the chapel, and it’s one of the few that you can get up close to and see. Installed in an unknown year, this window is a memorial to a former board member for the hospital, and pays tribute to Isabella Graham Hart. You can read a little more about her on their website here. Next time you’re in the hospital, head over to the chapel and take a rare opportunity to see an exquisite example of Tiffany’s work up close.
The Tiffany window that shines above the altar in St. Andrews is somewhat unknown. While it’s high off the ground, when the sun is shining through nearly every inch and color washes the sanctuary with its reverent beauty.
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