Tag Archives: antique stained glass

Time Capsule Discovered

We believe that through our efforts here at Southern Accents, we always bridge the future to the past. One of the most interesting things about salvaging a house or building is discovering hidden treasures. At times the treasures are unexpected; little notes or photos that have slipped behind an old mantel or a forgotten item found buried beneath an old barn. Often times the treasures aren’t hidden at all, but might take a bit of digging to uncover, like the value inside boxes left in an attic that tell the stories of the former owner. We found such an example recently while salvaging the sanctuary of Central Baptist church in Decatur, Alabama.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Our latest salvage mission involved the former sanctuary of Central Baptist Church in Decatur, Alabama. This beautiful building, constructed in 1926, was recently scheduled for demolition. The new property owner, Jeff Parker, could not bear to see over 100 beautiful stained glass windows and the many architectural elements go to waste. Therefore he contacted Southern Accents to salvage everything we could from the 90 year old building. Over the past several weeks we made several trips to downtown Decatur. In addition to the stained glass windows, we removed doors, newel posts and light fixtures, but our most exciting find was a small package tucked away inside a cut limestone cornerstone.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

 

We noticed the cornerstone at the back of the building. The stone was dated 1926, which told us that it was original to the building. We removed the stone, thinking that we might find a treasure behind it. What we did not expect, was a treasure hidden inside. Cut into the center of the stone was a 6″ x 6″ pocket. Inside was a small package wrapped in brown paper and tied with a string. The package was about the same size as a deck of playing cards. It was carefully removed, documented and brought back to our showroom in Cullman, Alabama, along with the stone for documenting. We cautiously unwrapped the package to discover 351 paper cards! Each card contained the signature of a church member, along with the name of his/her Sunday School teacher. While not all of the cards were perfectly legible, all that were have been recorded and placed in an excel spreadsheet for future generations.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Once documented, we called Jeff Parker. He, along with Southern Accents, agreed to give the cornerstone and the package containing all the cards to Central Baptist Church. SA and Jeff Parker will present these items to pastor Rob Jackson next spring during Central Baptists anniversary celebration. It is our wish that this precious piece of history remain with the church family. Please visit our blog for more photos from the Central Baptist Church salvage mission.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques


Central Baptist Church

Southern Accents latest salvage project took us a few miles up the road to downtown Decatur, Alabama, where we have been working to rescue over 100 stained glass windows from Central Baptist Church. In the 47 year history of our business, we have never had a “collection” of architectural windows of this magnitude.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The Central Baptist Church sanctuary was built in 1926 after the thriving church, which was originally established in 1892, outgrew their existing facility and needed to expand. A contractor was hired to build the new sanctuary. The collection of stained glass windows were installed in the beautiful new sanctuary that seated 1,200 at full capacity.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

After researching the history of the Central Baptist window collection, we believe that the stained-leaded glass windows originated in France and date back to the late 1880’s. Unfortunately, because the new church building was contracted as a turn key project, no history was recorded on any of the specific architectural elements used. However, the style of the windows is reminiscent of work being created in Europe during the 1880’s. So while the exact age and origin of the windows can not be firmly established, it is plausible to believe that they could date back to this time period.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Although these windows are being salvaged from the church, they are not of a religious pattern which allow them to be repurposed in any environment. We used several of the tall windows, that are in excellent condition, a few weeks ago in the Garden & Gun Artist Lounge at SlossFest in Birmingham.

Church growth recently lead the Central Baptist congregation to relocate to a larger facility with additional property that would accommodate a prosperous future. The old church buildings, which have been slowly deteriorating, will soon be torn down. We’ve had numerous customers who grew up in Decatur Baptist Church that have called or stopped by our showroom to purchase one of the windows. Currently we have over 60 of the stained glass windows available for purchase in three different sizes. The windows can be viewed at our showroom in downtown Cullman, Alabama or view them online at: www.sa1969.com/antique-windows-c16.

In addition to the windows we were also able to save doors and lights from the church building along with several other items. Give us a call at 877-737-0554 or stop by to view these and other architectural elements from this beautiful church building.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The 36″ x 36″ windows are available for $785. We only have a few of the smaller windows left.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The 36″ x 84″ windows are available for $1,650.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The 36″ x 70″ windows are available for $1,250.


Through The “Stained” Looking Glass

Of all the architectural pieces that we salvage, none capture our attention and mesmerize us the way a beautiful piece of stained glass does. Gazing through a multi colored window as the suns rays penetrate the textured glass panes is fascinating. Being makers ourselves, we are awed by the creativity of artists as well as the creative process it takes to produce these works of art. Through the years, we have had many stunning pieces pass through our showroom including this 200 year old window shown below.

This 200 year old stained glass window originated from a church in Wales.

This 200 year old stained glass window originated from a church in Wales.

We love this quote from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” There is a romance between the mediums used in the creation of stained glass. While the fragments of colored glass completely contrast with the copper foil or lead came, they are still dependent on one another… it is the seamless intertwining of the two that creates a stunning work of art.

This jeweled, stained glass window is the most gorgeous piece that we have ever had pass through our showroom.

This jeweled stained glass window is the most gorgeous piece that we have ever had pass through our showroom.

The history of manmade glass dates all the way back to 2625 BC with the discovery of glass Egyptian beads. The earliest surviving example of pictorial stained glass is the 10th century Head of Christ. Fragments were excavated in 1912 from Lorsch Abbey in Germany. In addition to it’s sheer beauty, there is so much rich history surrounding stained glass it is impossible for us not to love it!

This beautiful window is one of 7 that we recently acquired.

This beautiful window is one of 7 that we recently acquired.

We have received several gorgeous pieces of stained glass recently. To view all of our incredible windows and to see more detailed pictures of them, visit our website at www.sa1969.com or stop by our showroom. The stained glass can be found on the Antique Windows page. Our showroom is open Tuesday – Friday from 9am till 5pm and Saturday from 10am till 4pm. Closed Sunday, Monday by appointment only.

Written by: Lisa Jones


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