Monday, January 10, 2011

Stained Glass Sunday - Tiffany, Downing et al.

I'm starting the Atlanta Stained Glass Appreciation Society. Architecture Tourists: are you with me? Is there already such group? Let me know.

A serendipitous blog connection (this post) took me to Atlanta's First Presbyterian Church yesterday. There I met two of Atlanta's stained glass mavens: Bobby Mays and Bill Lyons. And I met the glass. I'm acutely aware of my inability to photograph it. You'll have to visit for yourself.

Here is the latest window, installed in 1992.

Between the early and late services, Bill gave a presentation...
P1060090-2011-01-09-Stained-Glass-1st-Presbyterian-Atlanta-Bill-Lyons-Lecturing this moving space.

Bill's grandfather Dr. J Sprole Lyons was minister during the design and construction of the present church breaking ground in 1914. The windows were designed and most were installed under his direction with Tiffany, D'Ascenzo, and Willet; the first window in 1919 that latest in 1992.

Architect W. T. Downing designed the building. He did the Church of the Sacred Heart, Trinity Methodist, the Healey Building, Wimbish House. Mr. Downing was another Atlanta architect who died too young, at 53.

I was fascinated by the irregular quoins and the capitals, by the tile floor, and the acoustics for the roaring organ. I couldn't take it all in the 45 minutes and concentrated on the glass.

Each window is a story in itself. I'm leave the "tongues of fire" in this one for another day.

This is one of the 4 small "prophet" windows in the narthex.

The chapel window.

I don't have the words or pictures to match the space. Here is a little video panorama

Here are all my pictures.

Thanks to Bill Lyons for the opportunity to see this and to Bobby Mays for the opportunity to see more.


  1. Beautiful, Terry, just beautiful. I have never been in the building but it is definitely worth a trip to look at those windows.

  2. Terry, this is amazing, this is more stained glass than I have ever seen in one place! I would love to see it in person.

    Also, I have a Great New Giveaway from Blydesign! Come and enter!

    Art by Karena

  3. Nice post...thanks! St. Philips offers tours on first might enjoy their glass as well.

  4. Travis, Thanks so much. If all goes well, I'll tour St. Lukes this week. I'm declaring you a member of the society.

  5. Wow those are beautiful windows! Thank you for posting them.

    Since you like stained glass, you might want to check out the Stained Glass Association of America at During each summer conference, we go on a tour to see stained glass in the local area. The 2011 conference is in Syracuse NY, the 2012 is in Kansas City. If you are in this area, you may want to attend.

    Laura Goff Parham
    State of the Art, Inc. Stained Glass Studio


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