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Featured Window

Window of the Month
Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

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Featured Windows, February 2020

Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Conrad Pickel (1906-1994),designer
Conrad Pickel windows are available to a new owner.

In the past 10 years or so, many churches in large cities have been closed due to lack of attendance, as people have moved out into the suburbs. Recently some stained- glass windows in an empty church in greater Detroit were offered free to any taker. The church is in a western suburb and has been empty for more than 5 years.

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church was constructed in the middle 1950’s and has recently been purchased by a gentleman who intends to use the facility as a school for autistic children. He feels the stained glass windows would be a distraction for the children.

As the windows are about 10 feet off the ground, scaffolding will be needed to remove them safely. So “free” will actually be about $1200-$1500 (depending on current conditions) a window.

When the situation of the windows was brought to the attention of the Michigan Stained Glass Census, an older church web site was located with photos of five of the windows to hopefully identify the designer. Very shortly someone in Wisconsin replied they looked like older Wisconsin stained glass. So, the web site was sent to several Wisconsin stained glass studios, and the response was very encouraging.

The final situation: the artist was Conrad Pickel who came to the United States from Germany after working for a German stained glass studio. He worked for several studios in Wisconsin, and then formed his own studio. His son Paul became involved in stained glass, and after his father moved the studio to Florida, Paul was the owner/head designer. It is interesting that these windows were actually made in Germany as verified by Paul’s information from his father’s archives. Conrad returned to Germany often to see family and friends and therefore could supervise the fabrication. As the Pickel Studio has installed quite a few stained-glass windows in Michigan, they were featured some years ago on the Michigan Stained Glass Census web site.

Our Lady of Grace church was visited recently by the Michigan Stained Glass Census. It is basically an empty building, which made the stained glass windows very visible with no other distractions. The new owner of the free windows will need to make some repairs, but nothing major.

Mother Church Prepares Thee for Seeing

You Share the Life of Christ

You Offer the Perfect Sacrifice

The Angels are Thy Friends and Protectors

You Will Share in the Happiness of God  (the windows are at the very end)

Text by Barbara Krueger, Michigan Stained Glass Census, February , 2020.