Second Presbyterian is well known for its unique collection of stained glass windows. Thirteen of the windows are from the Tiffany Company, and reflect the artistry of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Our windows show a number of features typical of the Tiffany style:
The inclusion of nature, especially plants and water
The use of layers of glass to achieve dimensional effects
The use of "drapery glass" to add texture to the robes in the scenes
Drapery glass is made in the glassmaster's studio by working molten glass with tongs to create a thick and thin texture, the resulting glass looking like natural folds of fabric.
Tiffany himself was not especially interested in religion, so he based the designs of these windows on images found in Sunday School books and other biblical illustrations, such as the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, the woman at the well, and the visitation to the empty tomb. There are also several windows constructed in the Tiffany style, by the Cincinnati Church Window Company, and by the St Louis artisan Emil Frei, of which the Emil Frei Associates, Inc. is still in existence in St Louis today. All of the windows that flank the walls of the sanctuary date from the early 1900s.
Tours of the stained glass windows are available by appointment. Please call the church office at (314) 367-0366 for more information.
The Ascension of
To the right of the Chancel - directly above the triptych of the burial and ascension of Jesus. When the Ascension window was removed for cleaning during the 1987 renovations the congregation noticed for the first time the green fields of Jerusalem found at the bottom of the scene, which had previously been obscured by soot when St Louis had been a coal-burning city.
At the end of each day, the halo surrounding Christ's head is the last feature to fade to darkness.