History: Stained Glass

Biddle Street location of Summerfield from 1857 – 1904. Stained Glass Medalians installed with construction in 1856.

Even though the Summerfield congregation had moved to the new Juneau Avenue location in 1905, the old church remained until 1940. At that time it was torn down to make room for the widening of Kilbourn Avenue. The building had been repurposed into a dance hall and shops, but the stained glass remained in place during those years. When the church was being torn down and it was time to remove the windows, Dr. Stansell spend hours at the site, waiting for the workmen to bring each medallion to him as it was removed. He was asked to explain the various symbols portrayed in the windows.

There are six (6) light-box framed medallions (two built into the front of the Sanctuary with four designed to be hung at various locations. One (1) is built into an alter in the History Room. Of the remaining seven (7), two hang in the Sarsfield Room and five are displayed in the Atwell Lounge.

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No clear accounting existes of how many medallions were installed or later saved. But based on photographs of the Biddle Street location, 15 is the most realistic number. 6 along both the North and South sides, 3 along the East front, and none along the West back due to the parsonage.

By this count, 14 of the original 1856 Stained Glass Medallions survive to this day at Summerfield. They remain a historic treasure.