Gothic Grandeur: A Rare Tradition in American Catholicism,
Authored and Co-Edited by C. Eugene Miller, Ph.D.
and Co-Edited by Michael A. Riester.
Canisius College Press, 2003, pp. 199, 211.
Buffalo Stained Glass Works (Riester &
windows in St. Louis Church were designed and installed sometime between the
years 1890 and 1894. Within the walls of the side aisles of the greater portion
of the nave, stained glass rectangular windows pierce six bays on each side, each
containing a mullion in the center and a pointed arch at the top. They are five feet
six inches wide and eighteen feet six inches in height. The arch of each window is
filled with traceries of varied designs, and the rectangular section exhibits a scene
illustrating an aspect of biblical or church history.
Leo Frohe and
designed them [the aisle windows] in the shop on Pearl Street which was a large three
story brick building eighty by sixty feet. It had two large kilns with a capacity
of one thousand feet of glass daily. Twenty-two skilled workmen were employed. From
1865 to 1896, it furnished windows for over twelve hundred churches in all parts
of the continent. It was one of the largest companies of its type in the United
About 1891. Frohe began to interview the prospective donors of the windows. Andrle
proposed the idea of complimentary symmetry in the choice of design so as to blend
in with the gothic
nature of the church. The donors suggested the topics for each window so as to fulfill1
their reasons for a choice and to satisfy Andrle's artistic imagination corresponding
to his basic plan. By the end of the year the choices were made and the price per
window was set at $527.15 per window. The donors made a fifty-percent down payment
and the program was initiated.
The windows in the clerestory
were also made at this time by a less expensive process such that each cost $225.
The clearstory rises twenty-seven feet above the roof of the
side aisle. On each of its sides there are seven stained glass windows with run-on
geometric) designs of differing patterns, each eight feet wide and nineteen feet
Also at each end of the transept,
at the same height as the clerestory, is a most beautifully designed Rose Window,
a circle of stained glass, twenty-two feet in diameter, with divided compartments
and tracery radiating from the center....
With the equipment in order the Buffalo Stained Glass Works meticulously set
out on a well-defined procedure to produce artistic windows for St. Louis Church.
Their craftsmen made sketches, put together a template and came up with a final cartoon.
On it they drew lines and cut out patterns. Then they selected the glass and cut
it with a three bladed scissors. Finally the glass was painted, fired, and glazed
which was the art of fixing it into the lead
cames. By 1894 the work was completed, and the windows were installed.
Royal Munich Art Institute
At approximately the
same time the two windows in the chancel
area of the sanctuary and
the seven large windows, high above the main altar in the apse were installed. The Royal Munich Art
Institute in Bavaria had made these. Each of these windows cost the donors $750 each.
Illustrations below are NOT part of Gothic Grandeur