Historic New York Church windows restored with authentic Bendheim hand-blown glass

At All Souls Church in Manhattan, light fills the sanctuary through restored antique-style windows.

At All Souls Church in Manhattan, light fills the sanctuary through restored antique-style windows. [Photo credit: Del Rossi Photography, courtesy of Bendheim]

NEW YORK, NY, USA, June 14, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — NEW YORK, NY/June 14, 2022—All Souls NYC, a historically significant Unitarian Church, has completed restoration work on its Church of 90 year old sanctuary on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. As part of this ambitious project, the church’s large neo-Georgian windows have been completely replaced with authentic Bendheim hand-blown glass.

The Unitarian Church of All Souls traces its origins to 1819, and its members have included prominent New Yorkers such as William Cullen Bryant, Calvert Vaux, and Peter Cooper. The current Colonial Revival church, designed by Hobart Upjohn, was dedicated in 1932.

At the start of the 21st century, this Depression-era structure was in very poor condition. Major issues included a crack in the steeple, leaks in the slate roof, and periodic breakdowns of an outdated sewage pump system. Many windows in the church had broken panes or could no longer be closed with the original cranks.

In response to this situation, All Souls has raised over $15 million to support a massive renovation effort. To design and direct the works, All Souls chose Studio Kraeher Architects, whose director brought his experience in the renovation of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Repairs began in early 2019 and were essentially complete by July 2020, although the impact of COVID-19 prevented an immediate return to normal services. In the spring of 2022, All Souls could resume public worship in a refreshed and rebuilt space.

Replacing the large sanctuary windows was an essential part of the project, given their importance to the colonial aesthetic of the building. When the quality of the glass offered by the subcontractors proved disappointing, All Souls set out to find the right material. Ultimately, the church chose authentic Bendheim hand-blown glass, which recreates the “antique” wavy look of pre-industrial glassware.

Each pane is handcrafted in Germany by Glashütte Lamberts glassblowers. For the All Souls work, the architect specified a subtle tint for some panes, in one of seven different tints. The light entering the sanctuary is softly diffused, with the slightest hint of color. The new windows are double glazed for energy conservation and now meet ANSI standards for water and air infiltration.

Tower Insulating Glass of North Bellmore, NY has incorporated Bendheim’s handcrafted glass into the IGUs. Project manager Eduardo James oversaw the on-site assembly of the windows for construction management company EW Howell, joining the glass with frames that had been made to order by MHB in the Netherlands. Bronx-based Kilroy Architectural Windows performed the installation.

All Souls was fortunate to have several experienced architects among its members, which enabled the Church Construction Advisory Task Force to bring professional expertise to the project. For example, the task force’s chairman, Louis F. “Fritz” Reuter IV, had previously served as executive director of the United Nations Capital Master Plan and senior vice president of facilities management at NewYork-Presbyterian. Reuter and his colleagues understood how important the choice of glass would be to the end result and were prepared to make it a high priority.

“We knew what we were looking for and luckily someone put us in touch with Bendheim. Once they provided us with samples, we could see that their product was superior to all others in terms of quality, color and impact,” explained Reuters.

Architect Rolando Kraeher visited Bendheim’s warehouse in Wayne, NJ to select the exact range of glass colors required for this historic restoration. He was assisted by Bendheim co-owner Steven Jayson, who credits the centuries-old artisanal method of mouth-blowing for the wide range of glass tints available to customers. Colors can be created in relatively small batches by adding precise amounts of metal oxides, such as cobalt, silver, and gold.

“We are extremely proud of our partnership with Lamberts craftsmen and our ability to provide glass of this quality for historic restoration projects,” noted Jayson. “When reclaiming the style of yesteryear, only authentic, mouth-blown glass will do.”

Project Photographs Project photographs by Michael Del Rossi, courtesy of Bendheim, are available at are available at



About Bendheim

Bendheim is one of the world’s leading resources for specialty architectural glass. Founded in New York in 1927, the fourth generation family business offers a virtually limitless range of customizable glass solutions for interior and exterior building applications. Bendheim develops, manufactures and distributes its products worldwide. The company has production facilities in New Jersey and a design lab in New York. For more information, please visit Bendheim.com.

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