First Presbyterian Church - Table of Contents

In My House Are Many Mansions Stained Glass Windows
First Presbyterian Church
One Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY
In the Allentown Local and Federal Historic Districts

First Presbyterian Church - Official Web Site

Studios: Mary Tillinghast
Year installed: 1894 (Building erected 1889-91)
Style: Opalescent with painted body parts.
Some of the opalescent glass is layered.

In the early 1880s, there was a small group of artists who worked with La Farge and Tiffany who were also attracted to the medium of opalescent glass windows. The most important of these early artists were David Maitland Armstrong, Francis Augustus Lathrop, Mary Tillinghast, Thomas Wright, John Calvin, Frank Millet and Joseph Lauber.

Armstrong, Tillinghast, Wright and Calvin continued careers as full-time glass artists...

Early in her career, Tillinghast created Jacob's Dream in Grace Church in New York City. Her window was a fantastic vision of angels ascending a ladder within billowing clouds of multi-colored opalescent glass.

- Shaw Creek Bird Supply, American Opalescent Glass

[Mary Tillinghast]
was a stained glass artist who was hired by architect Bertram Goodhue to create windows for Asheville's Trinity Episcopal Church in 1912...

This is one of her windows, Urania, located at the Allegheny Observatory in Pennsylvania.

This woman was an artist, a contemporary of Tiffany and John LeFarge, both of whom she worked with or for. She even became business partners with LaFarge, then she sued the company and started her own. Unmarried, deeply talented, whipsmart and born into money, Tillinghast had a way with glass that I think neither LaFarge nor Tiffany (and his countless workers whose names have melted away under his own) come close to touching. Certainly each of the three, the veritable triumvirate of 20th century glass making, has his and her own aesthetic.

Tillinghast's windows at Trinity have been taken down. I learned tonight that they were in such horrid condition that they fell apart or were broken apart and six-inch pieces were either sold or given to parishioners. I've read her letters, detailing her experience of making them. And I want to see them whole again. I know this isn't possible.

But I am beginning a quest to find the six-inch pieces of the windows. I want to touch them.

-  Laura Hope-Gill, Diary of a Fascination (2010)

East aisle

Left panel

Left panel - detail

Left panel - detail

Center panel

Center panel - detail: 2 angels

Center panel - detail: 2 angels

Banner is quote from John 14:2 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you."


Right panel - detail

Right panel - detail

Right panel - detail

 Special thanks to Business Manager Christina Trachtenberg for her cooperation in 2010.
Photos 2010  Chuck LaChiusa
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