Church Uses Kickstarter to Raise Renovation Cash for Tiffany Windows

By Janet Upadhye on November 7, 2013 9:56am 

Slideshow
 Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Clinton Hill is hoping to raise $500,000 to restore their 1891 Tiffany stained glass windows.
The Pilgrims Window Restoration Project
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CLINTON HILL — One historic church is employing modern measures to save their Tiffany stained glass windows.

Brown Memorial Baptist Church started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 to restore a pair of Tiffany windows that date back to 1891.

The campaign — called "The Pilgrims Window Restoration Project" — asks supporters to chip in funds to restore the ailing windows to their original state.

"We are on Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter so why not use Kickstarter to help restore the windows," said Marcus Harris, 34, who sits on the Pilgrim Restoration Committee. "We are one of those rare places with a true mix of old and young people."

Brown Memorial was founded in 1860 and has over 800 regular members.

The church has a dozen Tiffany stained glass windows valued at $12 million dollars, according to News12.

Two of those windows — "The Pilgrims" and "The Resurrection" — are in dire straits. Last year the church was given a $200,000 grant to help with window restoration, but they still need more money to finish the job, Harris said.

"We need an addition $150,000 on top of last year's grant," Harris said. "Nothing has changed, it has always been that way."

Many pieces of glass are cracked or missing, there is significant loss of paint, the putty sealing between the glass is missing in many places, some parts of the wooden frame are rotten, and "years of soot and dust have lodged between the plated sections of glass," according to the Kickstarter campaign.

Also, there is fear that during the upcoming winter months, detorioration of the windows might lead structural damage to the landmarked church building.

"We care very much for these windows," Harris said. "But it's not just about them. Until they are fixed our programs and very building are in danegr too."

Brown Memorial's Kickstarter campaign began on Nov. 1 and they have only raised $20 to date. The campaign closes on Dec. 31.

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