SAINT MARY’S CHURCH

Project Highlights

After 100 years of serving as a place of worship and community, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Potsdam, NY, was in need of renovation. The intention was to refurbish and reglaze only the stained glass, especially in the 23 foot-high Gothic unit with the Rose Window above the main entrance, until it was discovered that all the windows were badly deteriorated.

In 2010, stained glass was carefully removed from the original windows. Built in three layers of old-growth pine, 15 Gothic Revival windows, including the 15′ x 23′ Rose Window were replicated with six layers of Honduran Mahogany, plus staggered finger jointing for a strong and layered profile.

After more than a century of weathering, shifting and settling, measurements for each new window needed to be exact to accommodate fixed stone and glass dimensions. Jerry MacNeilArchitects Limited employed tacheometric survey software in combination with rectified photography to capture measurements digitally. BIM and CAD/CAM technology, cyber models and cutter designs downloaded directly to Marvin’s CNC equipment allowed window fabrication to be a paperless process.

P OT S D A M , N Y

  • No two openings were alike, so a variety of state-of the- art digital measuring techniques were used to create a precise fit as well as full-size frame rubbingsand glass tracings.
  • The Rose Window consisted of 816 individual pieces, each engineered to micro-accuracy to accommodate reglazing.
  • A spirit of collaboration and pride filled the project, with workers signing the concealed edge of the Rose Window before its installation, per an old European carpentry tradition.