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Tiffany Stained Glass Windows Get Some Love at Brown Memorial Church

By Janet Upadhye | June 14, 2012 3:54pm

CLINTON HILL — Aquila Middleton, the volunteer director of construction at Brown Memorial Baptist Church, received very valuable news Wednesday night: the church had been awarded $200,000 to restore two of their 12 Tiffany stained glass windows.

Brown Memorial was one of 16 sites awarded money from a fund created by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to preserve historic sites in New York City. Through the "Partners in Preservation" New York City residents were able to call in votes for their favorite historical sites.

"This program is designed to encourage community support for preservation and have the public rally behind their favorite historic places to help us determine where these funds are needed," said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, according to a recent press release announcing the winners.

Other sites awarded money include Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Henry Street Settlement, and Woodlawn Cemetery.

Brown Memorial was given the largest grant.

Founded in 1860, the church on Washington Avenue is a Clinton Hill landmark and has over 800 regular members.  The church committees recently finished a restoration project that lasted almost 11 years. The Early Romanesque-Revival style building now has a new roof, sanctuary ceiling, lighting fixtures, chandeliers and more.

"The inside of the sanctuary inspires awe," said Middleton. "A lot of time and care went into its restoration."

And with the new grants, the stained glass windows will get their own TLC.

"The Pilgrims," the first Louis Comfort Tiffany window slotted for restoration, is 40 feet high and 50 feet wide and depicts two pilgrims visiting an angel.  The church will then restore another Tiffany window named "The Resurrection."

"People don't realize we house such treasures," said church secretary Bobbie Gant. "But soon enough, they will see."