The Wizened Eyes of The Old Man

If eyes are the “windows to the soul” of a person, then windows are the eyes to the soul of a house. When we first saw the Old Man, the eleven stained glass windows were one of the things that really caught our attention, but for three very different reasons: First because there were so many of them, second because they were so beautiful, and lastly because they were in such horrible condition. Several of the windows were missing pieces of glass, and another few had broken pieces of glass in them. One had been repaired with scotch tape, and another looked like someone had tried to glue the broken glass back together with wood glue.

We walked away from the Old Man that day and continued our house hunt elsewhere, but fate (and a very determined wife!) brought us back to the Old Man six weeks later. We found that, in addition to the myriad other small repairs and fixes that had been made, the owner had repaired the windows that were missing panes–and done a really fine job of it. It made a huge difference in the way the house looked and we went ahead and made an offer on the Old Man–one year ago today in fact.

However the remaining stained glass windows still had problems. The window in the foyer had two broken panes and air was coming in through the cracks. One window in the living room was bowing outward, leaving huge gaps between the glass and the lead, while the other window bowed inward. In the dining room, the leftmost and rightmost casement windows bowed out precipitously and had gaps worse than the windows in the living room. On top of that, every time I’d open and close them, they would shake and rattle horribly–making me wonder if they would finally give way.

We knew that we’d eventually have to get the windows repaired, but kept putting it off because we had no idea how long it would take and we weren’t terribly comfortable with the thought of living in a house with half a dozen boarded up windows for potentially weeks and weeks. Besides, the repairs were somewhat cosmetic and there were so many other really important things that need to be done around the house…

Well last week I stopped by Circle Studios, a stained glass studio that I frequently drive by. I often admire the beautiful stained glass windows and lamps in their studio as I drive by, but this was the first time I went inside. In short, it was breathtaking–an incredible combination of glasswork whose beauty made me absolutely giddy. I asked them if they did repair work, and it turns out that not only do they repair stained glass, but they repaired the three broken windows in the Old Man right before we bought the house!

Today, Joseph, who founded the studio, came over to make an assessment of all the windows and determine which ones needed urgent repair and which ones had minor cracks that were purely cosmetic. After looking at all the windows and tapping and prodding them, he recommended that we repair the five windows that I described above, which is exactly what we expected needed to be done. He even drew us up a quote for repairing all five on the spot. He thinks that they can remove the windows, board them up, repair them, and have them back in place in about a week’s time, which is a lot faster than I expected!

M. and I are going to mull over the quote for the next few days and then decide whether we’re going to have Joseph and his crew do the work. The price is about what we expected, so it mostly has to do with figuring out the best time to get the work done.

But enough about that, here are some pictures of the windows.

2 Responses to “The Wizened Eyes of The Old Man”

  1. Kristin Says:

    Oh! I’m so jealous! The windows are gorgeous.

  2. Jocelyn Says:

    Hey- hope you had a good summer- we did- just busy working all the time 🙂
    How awesome that you guys have all those details intact. To me, those windows make your house a home. Totally worth the investment to repair in my opinion. We have 2 small stained glass windows per floor that we need to have restored lso- next Spring I think.

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