Our churches here in America can be hundreds of years old and while the stained glass is still beautiful, they can need some support to keep looking great and last for years to come. Stained glass restoration is crucial to the work we do here at Associated Crafts/Willet Hauser Architectural Glass. This time on the blog we are going to look at Seattle, Washington’s Holy Rosary Catholic Church as an example of how we have been helping folks achieve: New Year, New Church!


Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Seattle, WA

Seattle, Washington’s Holy Rosary Catholic Church, a beautiful church built in the Tuscan Romanesque style, is no stranger to the importance of church stewardship. In the parish’s 110 year history, like many churches, Holy Rosary has had to adapt to the needs of the parish, doing what was necessary for its churches, all with the future of the parish in mind. In 1913, when the congregation relocated from its original location to a new once close by, the church was literally moved, having been rolled upon logs to its new location! As the congregation grew, a new worship space was needed and the present church was built. In 1997, after a devastating fire caused extensive damage to the church, the parish rallied together to reconstruct, renovate and restore the building. Twenty years later, it was evident that time had taken its toll on the church’s historic leaded glass windows. Associated Crafts/Willet Hauser Architectural Glass was honored to provide the necessary stained glass restoration and repair work in order to bring the windows back to their original splendor.

The Stained Glass Restoration Process

Executive Vice President and Studio Consultant JW Phillips not only performed the initial inspection, he was also onsite performing the repair work and overseeing the entire project.

As part of our Diocese Inspection Program, we were called upon to document and plan for the care of the windows at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, which is within the Diocese of Seattle. One of our trained consultants visited the church to carefully inspect and photograph each stained glass window.

The initial inspection, completed in early 2019, revealed that the seventy-year-old windows varied greatly in their conditions – with some requiring more work than others. The twenty-one window project involved first removing the decades-old protective covering that had become dark and clouded over the years from age and pollution, dulling the light that streamed through the once vibrant glass. Next, the windows were removed from their openings and some windows, depending upon their conditions, underwent specific repairs such as reducing bulges that could cause the glass to crack, replacing cracked glass if repair was not an option, and reattaching loose support braces.




The Sacred Heart of Jesus window suffered from cracked glass in several areas. On-site artisans carefully repaired the painted glass pieces, maintaining the historic integrity of the window. Sections of glass so badly broken they could not be repaired, were replaced.


Detail of reattached structural brace.


Once the necessary structural repairs were made, all windows were reinstalled into their openings and recemented, further reinforcing the lead came matrix as well as cleaning the exterior of the window. Loose paint on the window frames was carefully scraped away before the metal frames were primed and painted with a rust-inhibiting paint. 


The windows were carefully reinstalled after structural repairs were complete.


Time For Klear-Flo™!


The exterior of the church, before the installation of new protective covering.


Finally, the newly repaired windows were covered with our exclusive Klear-Flo™ protective covering system utilizing ¼” tempered glass and our special perimeter framing.


Installing our exclusive perimeter framing which is carefully bent on site to contour to the church’s original millwork


The new protective covering result is striking when compared to the old, clouded covering that dulled the windows’ appearance.


We were thrilled with the results, as was Holy Rosary Catholic Church, who remarked upon completion: “Outstanding workmanship; superior performance and outrageous work ethic!” 

Does your church need some help? Looking to make 2020 the year of New Year, New Church for your community? Reach out and see how Associated Crafts/Willet Hauser Architectural Glass can help you with stained glass restoration and repair work. It’s our joy to bring fresh life back to these historic, pieces of art in our stained glass studio.