The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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April 4, 2014

Let the light shine

CLINTON — The sun is shining brighter at the St. Irenaeus Cultural Center.

The facility's five-panel, rosette window, underwent a major restoration this week and is now perched back atop the alter in its rightful place.

The rosette restoration was part of a two-phase process at St. Irenaeus aimed to renovate the historic building by the Clinton Historical Society.

Restoring a three-piece window depiction of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ was the first phase, and now that phase two is completed, members of the historical society are breathing a little easier.

"It's a very small step in trying to preserve the building," Historical Society President Don Dethmann said. "We've got so much more to do but the windows needed a lot of attention. It's a relief to know that we have saved those."

In order to bring back the stained glass windows to their original glory, the historical society enlisted the help of Glass Heritage, a company based out of the Quad Cities that specializes in glass restoration.

Glass Heritage owner Adrian English said that while the project was difficult for he and his team, it was an experience of a lifetime.

"Those are probably the oldest windows I have ever touched," English said. "Those have been in since 1871 and the stained glass itself will last for another 75 to 100 years."

The entire project took nearly two years and when English and his team completed the first phase, members of the historical society knew they had to keep the company on board to repair the rosette that sits parallel to the Crucifixion windows on the west side of the building.

In order to pay for the second half of the project, the society sought out donations from the community and were pleased when their requests were met.

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