Second Presbyterian Church
1936 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
The second half of the 19th century saw a dramatic rise in the use of leaded glass windows to ornament buildings ranging from private homes to churches. The beauty of the windows, combined with the ability to customize them to the donor's wishes, resulted in their popularity as memorials to loved ones.
This lecture and tour will focus on a significant collection of memorial windows at Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago, the only church in the city to be individually listed as a National Historic Landmark. The factors resulting in the increased use of leaded glass during the 19th century will be examined, as will the innovations that led to this growth by national figures such as Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge, and local practitioners including Louis Millet and Giannini & Hilgart, all of whom are represented at the church. Specific examples of the myriad types of glass developed during the period will be examined, including drapery glass, confetti glass, faceted jewels, and the all-important opalescent glass perfected by Tiffany.
Finally, the donors themselves, and those for whom the memorial windows were given, will be discussed, including such prominent names as Marshall Field, George Pullman, Silas Cobb, Timothy Blackstone, and John Crerar.
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