Mar 28, 2012
St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia was recently awarded a $19,200 grant from the Rochester Area Community Foundation (RACF) for the restoration of the stained-glass window centrally located on the bell tower. The grant was co-written by Laurie Oltramari of the Landmark Society of Genesee County and Marcia Gann from the St. James Vestry.
The grant will help to restore broken glass, shifted and broken tracery, and the structural cast stone surround in the upper part of the window. The artist of the tower window is unknown and depicts the four evangelists with four panels below signifying an event associated with that person.
The grant stressed the role of St. James as a cultural and arts center of Batavia and that the stained-glass window was artwork that is valuable and accessible to the public.
"The churches of Downtown Batavia are incredible historical and architectural gems in our city," Oltramari said. "Many people pass them by without notice. They take them for granted. It is important to recognize them as a foundation to our community."
Among others, St. James is one of the churches that have participated in stained-glass window tours of Batavia. The work for the restoration of the window will be done by Valerie O'Hara of Pike Stained Glass Studios in Rochester.
Since autumn, the St. James tower has been undergoing restoration by the help of Catenary Construction and Bero Architecture. Beyond the RACF grant, the church was also awarded a $50,000 grant in September from Pepsi in which it was the only recipient of funding for historic preservation. It also received a $40,000 Sacred Sites grant from the Landmarks Conservancy.
The Rev. Steven Metcalfe and congregation began a capital campaign to bring in donations, but they are also seeking donations within the community. For more information about the restoration work being done or how you can help, please contact St. James at 343-6802.