I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

So this is sort of a house project because we’re going to use some of what we found in our house, but it’s also a little tangential because this project was actually more about saving a great piece of art and local history.

Over the last three years, Dan and I have been keeping an eye on an abandoned convent about 4 blocks from where we live. We could tell that there were beautiful stained glass windows in the building, however no one lived there and not much was being done with the place. About a month ago, I was walking the dog by the convent, and being nosy I noticed a new sign on the door. It was a notice that the building was condemned. Everything, including the windows, was set to go under the wrecking ball soon.


The next day I called the borough manager, who put me in touch with the building’s owner. After a little negotiation, we agreed to pay the owner for the rights to salvage whatever we wanted from the building, including the windows. We spent most of the day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in 90 degree heat – with no electricity or plumbing – but we did it. We chiseled out all the windows and even found a few other cool things along the way!


For an idea of scale

We couldn’t have done this without the help of our friends. We put out the call, and some friends showed up to give us a hand. In fact, even a few brand new friends who we had just met offered their time and energy to help save this art. It was a beautiful thing to see people care so much! Thank you to Kristen, Connor, Randy, and Megan. Not only did we save art and history together, but we forged some great new friendships in sweat and a little bit of blood!

I took a “how-to” video and will put up another post later on with instructions on how to salvage windows!

Without further ado, here are the pieces we salvaged. Most of these are for sale, so please please if you are interested, let me know and I’d be happy to work with you! Also if you know a church that needs some giant windows of Mary, Jesus, and Joseph, send ’em my way!


Virgin Mary window – for sale


Jesus window – for sale


St. Joseph holding a bouquet of lilies – for sale


6 pointed star – SOLD!


Tall chalice window – only pane #3 (counting from the bottom up) is for sale, the others are sold


Tall window depicting burning incense – panels 1, 3, and 6 for sale


Window closeup – SOLD! 


Window closeup – SOLD! 


Window closeup – still available for sale!


Window closeup, including panels of a chalice – SOLD!


Window closeup, including panels of burning incense – only panel 6 (top panel) is available for sale


Window closeup – available for sale!


Window closeup – SOLD! 


Window closeup – available for sale!




The sword and the rose – not for sale


Green medieval style sword – available for sale!


Yellow medieval style sword – NFS


Cool old cast iron/enamel sink. In great shape! No visible rusting in the cast iron/enamel top. For sale! This would be so cute in a retro kitchen, and requires almost no work to restore.


Closeup of the top – the washboard is dirty, not rusty. I’m stunned at the shape this is in.


No damage around the faucet or drain!


Cool retro handles and intact maker’s trademark plate


Metal cabinets to go with the sink – for sale with the sink! You hardly ever see these come in a set with the original sink. 


Chalice window – for sale! 


We also found an old sewing machine – it does have the drawers, but they are off-camera. Rough shape, but someone could make this really cool with only a little work. For sale! (I already have an antique sewing machine, lol!)


Sewing machine base with awesome cast iron wheel. Very steampunk. 


Closeup of the top – rough condition, but so lovely.


One comment

  1. Saskia · · Reply

    That last chalice window. What kind of ballpark price are we talking?

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