Wooden boards mark the openings where stained glass windows previously stood at Mary Taylor United Methodist Church downtown. But not to worry, the windows are expected back in May after they have been restored
The windows, believed to date back to 1893 when the church was completed, will be “re-leaded” as part of a restoration project.

“The windows are taken apart and the lead that connects each separate glass plate to each other is replaced (called "re-leading"),” said the church pastor, the Rev. Dr. Brian R. Bodt. “This lead can fatigue over time, particularly under the stress of heat.”

Eight of the 10 windows are in need of restoration. Four windows will be restored this year; four more will be restored in 2017.

The repairs, when the project is completed, will cost approximately $65,000.

“This investment in our capital plant is part of a continuing plan of upkeep and maintenance, some of which had been deferred in recent years,” Rev. Bodt said. “As members' financial support has increased, these projects have become feasible.

“The timing of having them out during Holy Week and Easter is not ideal, but we are saving money by doing it now,” he added.

The windows were showing signs of bowing, and that will be corrected and the top louvres will be repaired so that the top portion of the windows may be opened for ventilation, Bodt said.

The contractor is Stained Glass Resources, Inc. of Hampden, Mass.

According to a company website, bowing is an indication that the “lead channel, which is the primary structural support system of the window, is deteriorating,” and repair is needed.

Depending upon the alloy composition, lead has a service life of 75 to 100 years, the website notes.

If not repaired and the problem progresses, the window may tear away from the support bars, “and, eventually glass will break as a result of this stress,” according to the Stained Glass Resources website.