GRAFTON – Advances in downtown Grafton continue on a restoration effort on one of the area’s most recognizable national historic landmarks.
Three Williams Stained Glass employees visited the shrine on International Mother’s Day Thursday, January 28, to reinstall two more of the restored stained glass windows as part of the shrine’s stained glass restoration project.
The Mother’s Day Shrine stained glass restoration project, which is no small feat, began in May 2019 and included a total of 14 windows 14 feet high and 11 inches wide, 11 windows 7.5 feet high and 39 inches high wide and a window that is 19 feet high and 48 inches wide is maintained.
Board member Larry Richman announced that the total cost of the project is approximately $ 400,000.
After the Mother’s Day Shrine Board of Trustees won the project from the Mother’s Day Shrine Board of Trustees, the father and son duo of the Williams Stained Glass Studio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania set to work to begin repairing the ornate artwork.
The improvements being made to the windows include re-routing the windows, replacing broken glass and repairing or replacing the wooden window frames, and replacing the exterior acrylic storm coverings on the outside of the building, according to Richman.
With the newly installed windows, all six windows on the second floor on the Luzadder Street side of the building were completed.
Williams crew members returned to the shrine on Friday January 29 to remove two more windows from the front of the sanctuary on the St. John’s Street side of the building.
According to board member Marvin Gelhausen, when the project began, workers removed and restored a window on the St. John Street side.
“So if you restore the two windows you remove on Friday, you’ll be halfway through on the St. John Street side. As soon as these are done, you have to take care of the three large windows at the front of the building and the windows of the sanctuary will be restored, ”said Gelhausen.
Once all of the sanctuary’s windows have been tended, the workers go downstairs and begin window restoration work.
“In total, I think 27 stained glass windows need to be restored, and the installation on Thursday reflected the completion of seven windows,” remarked Gelhausen.
Williams said completing a project of this magnitude would take the team nearly two years to complete.
In order to cover the cost of financing such a large project, the Board of Trustees asks the congregation again for support for their project to restore the historical beauty of Mother’s Day Shrine. Virginia Paugh Wolfe was appointed chairman of the stained glass window restoration project.
For those interested in helping restore the historic and iconic building, donations can be sent to Mother’s Day Shrine, PO Box 513, Grafton, WV 26354, or by hand to the Grafton City Treasury Department at 1 West Main Street, Grafton. Checks must be paid to the Mother’s Day Shrine Stained Glass Window Fund.
Donors can also make contributions through PayPal at www.internationalmothersdayshrine.org or through GoFundMe at www.gofundme.com/restore-the-mothers-day-shrine.
The International Mother’s Day Shrine is a 146 year old Grafton landmark and one of West Virginia’s 16 national historic landmarks.
On December 18, 1970, the shrine was named a National Historic Place and added to the National Historic Landmark Register on October 5, 1992. Then, on June 30, 2007, it was listed as a National United Methodist Historic Site.
“Mother’s Day Shrine is an important part of Grafton’s history and I would really appreciate it if it were restored to its former beauty,” said Richman. “We are pleased that the project is running and that we have successfully completed a window.”