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Davenport Company to Repair Grant Wood Stained Glass

Post Time:Jun 30,2009Classify:Company NewsView:292

A one-of-a-kind window, valued at $3 million, soon will be on its way to Davenport. Glass Heritage, a downtown glass art and restoration business, has landed the contract to repair artist Grant Wood's only window piece. The 25-foot-tall window, depicting life-size soldiers from various wars and a rising angel welcoming them home, was damaged during last year's flood in Cedar Rapids.

The window is in the first floor of the Veterans Memorial Building/City Hall, and Glass Heritage workers will remove the piece and transport it by trailer to their shop in Davenport.

"The Cedar Rapids flood brought the water level up to the frame of the window," said John Watts, a co-owner of Glass Heritage. "Water seeped into the original frame, which is made of Douglas fur. For eight or nine days, the window sat in its encasement as the temperatures rose into the 90s.

"There was no venting in the frame, and the high temps caused the wood to expand, cracking the glass. The glass is also bowed."

It will be the job of the Glass Heritage staff to repair each of the 80 to 120 cracks in the glass. There are about 800 pieces of glass in 58 sections, Watts said. He predicted that removal of the window and transportation to Davenport will take three to four weeks.

Repairs will take 34 to 36 weeks, he said, but Glass Heritage will store the window for at least a year as restoration work is done on the Veterans Memorial Building.

Glass Heritage will be paid about $150,000 for the work; it will be paid for by insurance.

Wood, who grew up in Cedar Rapids, was commissioned by the Veterans Memorial Commission in 1927 to create the stained glass piece, and he was paid $9,000, later telling commissioners they got a $12,000 window for the price, according to records.

Mike Jager, manager of the Veterans Memorial Building, told the Cedar Rapids Gazette earlier this month, "We're not looking at a sidewalk or buying paper clips here. We were looking at quality. We want this done right."

Glass Heritage was one of five companies to bid on the repairs and was in competition with companies from Philadelphia and Missouri, city officials said.

The window was built in Munich, Germany, under Wood's direction. It was completed in 1929.

"It's the only one he did," Watts said. "I'm impressed with the workmanship and the design elements. It's an incredible piece."

Source: http://www.qctimes.comAuthor: shangyi

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