The Tiffany has a curious history. In its heyday, the church installed the 12-foot-round window 25 feet above Chelten Avenue as the crown jewel of a series of stained-glass windows. But a few years later, the church purchased a pipe organ. The only suitable location for its towering pipes was the choir loft - directly in front of the rose window.
Not only was the window rendered invisible from the sanctuary, but a tinted sunglass cover that was added to protect it from the elements obscured it to the street. As the cover turned muddy brown, the remaining view of the window was gone.
Last summer, as part of a broad restoration of its art holdings, the church brought in specialists from Mezalick Design Studio in Frankford to tackle the Tiffany. The workers removed the cover, exposing inches of dirt and soot that had collected on the wooden frame. They disassembled and cleaned the thousands of pieces of green and blue glass, then applied new solder and leading.
To cap off the project, the Mezalick team devised a high-tech interior lighting system. Because the gap between the window and the pipes is only 11 inches, with no easy access, placing lights directly behind the window was not feasible. Instead, fiber-optic cables have been snaked up into the space, carrying light from a source on the ground floor.
The system has passed a test run, and on Tuesday Ms. Muth will take her multicultural flock outside for singing, cider, and a symbolic rebirth.
Contact Faith Life editor Jim Remsen at 215-854-521 or email@example.com.