Hard Hat Tour of St. Thomas Church
The New York Landmarks Conservancy was pleased to offer its Professional Circle members an exclusive, hard hat tour of the installation of the clerestory and rose windows at St. Thomas Church after a large-scale stained glass window restoration led by .
The window restoration occurred in two phases, the first phase (north side & rose window) completed in 2009 and the second phase (south side) set to be completed by August 2016. Each window has been meticulously restored including new leading and waterproofing. The windows were made between 1929 and 1970. James Powell and Sons (also known as the Whitefriars of London) made all but two of the windows.
If you would like to learn more about the process of stained glass window removal, cleaning, and waterproofing, you can watch the process online below.
St. Thomas Church was designed by Ralph Adams Cram and Bertram C. Goodhue of the distinguished architectural firm of Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson in 1910 with the cornerstone being laid in November 1911. The first service was held in the new church building in October 1913; it was consecrated in April 1916. The French High Gothic style church replaced the previous Richard Upjohn-designed building that succumbed to fire in August 1905 (1866-1905). At the time, St. Thomas Church was perhaps the wealthiest congregation in the country, sitting on 5th Avenue at 53rd Street among the palatial mansions of New York’s elite that included the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts.
St. Thomas Church and its parish house were designated New York City landmarks in October 1966.The Conservancy would like to thank Julie Sloan, St. Thomas Church, and Walter B. Melvin Architects. saintthomaschurch.org
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Throughout the year, Circle tours go behind-the-scenes of some of New York’s most interesting historic properties. Some tours require hard hats to visit projects during restoration, while others showcase completed restorations of commercial buildings, residences, museums, churches, and synagogues. On occasion, conservators, engineers, and craftspeople open their studios to our Circle members.