Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stained Glass Windows of the Old Normal School

If you are ever downstairs in the library, you can go in the Kiefer Room (when no class is in there) and see some stained glass windows at the east end of the room. These windows, and the ones on the other side of the wall from them, are survivors from a long gone building and era in our school's history. Before WWII Brockport was known as a "Normal" school, a teacher training institution. The school was housed in a rambling old building complex that stood about where Hartwell Hall is today.

In the years from 1910 to 1930, different graduating classes, and some of the sororities and fraternities then active here, made gifts to the school of stained glass windows. The windows were prominently displayed in the main corridor of the building where they would have been seen on a daily basis by all as the came and went to classes and offices.

In the late 1930s that complex was demolished and replaced with what we call Hartwell Hall. The stained glass windows were crated and put in the basement of Hartwell, where they laid forgotten for many years. About 1970 they were discovered by a grad student working with a history professor on the history of the school. A few years later they were taken to the "new" library building, today's Drake Library, and placed in a special wall on the ground floor. Shown here is the 3rd window from the left in the Kiefer Room, "Literature," the gift of the Alpha Delta sorority in 1928.

The windows are not in bad shape considering their age, but have long needed some work. Thanks to a recent generous gift by an anonymous donor the windows will be getting that conservation work!

1 comment:

Pat Maxwell said...

This is fantastic news! Many thanks to the donor, who ever s/he may be! It will be thrilling to see the windows restored.