The Friends of City Hall officially formed in 2013 with the express purpose of the rehabilitation of the second floor into a more usable public space and cultural center. The most immediate need is the restoration of the stained glass windows. Illuminating the grand ballroom on the second floor of Holyoke’s City Hall are thirteen remarkable stained glass windows designed by Samuel West of Boston in 1876. Their beauty has looked upon many events over the years: inaugurations, graduations, war ration distribution, theatrical productions and even 25 years of basketball games. They are a rare example of secular stained glass, some that are of a decorative theme, but seven of the windows have figures and themes that immortalize the dominant forces in nineteenth century Holyoke life – Liberty, Agriculture, Water Power, Commerce, Industry, Music and the Arts.
Today, these themes continue to oversee our lives here in Holyoke but currently the windows are in desperate need of repair. The leading holding the glass together is disintegrating making it years overdue for replacement. Some windows have missing glass; some have mismatched glass from past restoration attempts. These works of art are exposed to the elements and lack any protection from the New England weather. Experts worry they are on the verge of total collapse. The average cost of repairing one window is $65,000.
Please visit holyokestainedglass.org to find out how you can help.
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