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Twelve Tiffany memorial and decorative stained glass windows were installed in the sanctuary. All the windows are characteristic of the best work of the Tiffany Studios of that era. They exhibit the use of sculptural glass of varied thickness for clothing and drapery; painted faces and hands for accuracy in anatomical features; plating of layers of opalescent and colored glass for subtle effects.
The Pilgrims is a group of religious dissidents who believed it was necessary to separate from the Church of England. The Pilgrims only accepted the doctrine as presented by the Holy Bible and felt that the Church of England shifted from those doctrines to embrace political ideologies. The Pilgrims first moved to Holland in 1607 and then began their migration to America, landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 via the Mayflower.
The Pilgrims serves as a memorial to the struggles of the Pilgrim religious leaders, including abolitionists and workers of the underground railroad, a nod to Clinton Hill’s past as a hotbed of abolitionist activity.
Because of their great faith in God, they always felt the protection of God even though each of them had many wilderness experiences.
A History & Overview
One of the two prominent monumental windows designed and fabricated by the Tiffany Studios, ‘The Pilgrims’ was unveiled on Easter Sunday, March 30, 1891. Located in the sanctuary’s north transept, facing Gates Avenue, and standing at 40 feet high and 15 feet wide, the window is dedicated to Ebenezer L. Roberts, architect of the church building, and a longtime deacon and trustee of the original congregation. At the balcony level, ‘The Pilgrims’ window features a large central lancet panel depicting two pilgrims approaching an angel. Flanking the central figures are two smaller lancet panels with text from the King James Version of the Bible, Exodus 23:20: “Behold, I send an angel before thee to keep thee in the way and to bring thee into the place I have prepared.” Above the figures of the pilgrims is a rose window depicting a domed structure, possibly a reference to both Roberts and the Kingdom of Heaven. The rose window is surrounded by nine smaller circular tracery windows constructed of brilliantly colored glass. At the first floor are four portrait lancet panels, with children’s faces presented as putti, surrounded by leaded art nouveau vines, with extracts from the scriptures at the lower section.
Status of ‘The Pilgrims’ Window
‘The Pilgrims’ window is in severely deteriorated condition, though remarkably intact, and urgently in need of restoration. In 2004, the window was temporarily stabilized by the installation of temporary structural framing with plastic glazing on the lower sections of the window to catch loose pieces of glass and provide protection from vandalism. Many years of soot and dust have lodged between the plated sections of glass, causing large areas of the window to become opaque. The large central lancet has become detached from the wood frame, making the window vulnerable to damage by wind and rain. There is significant loss of paint on anatomical features. In many panels, the lead caming has failed and the putty sealing the glass to the cames is missing. Numerous pieces of glass are cracked or missing, especially at areas of scriptural text. Panels of glass, especially the lancets, have slumped in an accordion manner and have buckled. The wood window frame has displaced sections, allowing water to enter into the frame, causing the frame and tracery to rot.
-Provided by Li-Saltzman Architects, P.C.
Brown Memorial Baptist Church
c/o Pilgrims Restoration Project
484 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11238
Phone | 718.638.6121
Fax | 718.399.8702
The Pilgrims Photography by Trixie Rosen