Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster
I bought a leaded glass window from Habitat for Humanity in Lancaster and was told that it came from the Thaddeus Stevens House. Habitat was supposed to give me a letter of authenticity, but they lost it. Is there any way that you can validate this window as being from the Stevens house? Did you give it to Habitat?
Thanks. Barbara Wash
Hello, Barbara –
Thanks for contacting us about this. First, I assume you are referring to the Thaddeus Stevens House and Law Office which we saved from complete demolition and then partially reconstructed between 2006 and 2010, on S. Queen Street, alongside the convention center. There was also a large Victorian hotel named the Stevens House, at Water and King Sts. (where the present “Stevens House” Apartments and Condominium building now stands); that hotel was demolished around 1965 (?). It probably had some stained glass, but I never saw that building, and have never seen much documentation of its appearance.
A large , 3-story rear portion of the Stevens House and Law Office (on S. Queen) was demolished to make way for the convention center between 2007-2009. However, I do not recall any stained glass windows in the Stevens House with which we were involved. At that same time, I should mention, we were also working on 2 other nearby buildings: the so-called “Lydia Smith House” (though she never lived there, but did own it) at the corner of S. Christian and E. Vine Sts, and the former Kleiss Tavern at the corner of Vine and Queen. I mention this because at the time we were generally referring to the project as the “Stevens and Smith houses,” and few people actually knew what was which — this glass might have come from one of these others and been know as “from the Stevens House.” Rear sections of both of these were also demolished to make way for the convention center. There was at least one stained glass window in the Smith House (photo attached) that I know of, and there might have been one or two more. The one I definitely recall was in the front wall in the recessed porch area. I thought it was still there, but haven’t checked lately. This was an arched opening, and probably a late Victorian alteration, added by someone who owned it after Lydia Smith’s death in about 1890.
CH&E Construction was the general contractor for the project, and they might know something more about disposition of materials. I’d talk with Mark Strunk there, who was the project manager. Also the Historic Preservation Trust was part of this project, but they’ve been through a great number of changes in personnel, and I doubt anyone there knows much about this project today.
If you want to send us a photo, we might be able to tell you more about it.
Good luck, and hope you enjoy it for a long time.
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