2017 ‘Sacred Sites Open House’ Features Stained Glass

New Yorkers travel around the world to enjoy magnificent art, architecture, and history. During this, the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s 7th annual Sacred Sites Open House, May 20th and 21st, 2017, world-class houses of worship throughout New York bring this experience to your doorstep.

This year, over 60 sites in New York City and more than 170 statewide will participate. This year’s theme, Stained Glass: Windows on this World and the Next, highlights the extraordinary work of American stained glass masters as well as prominent European artists and studios that can be discovered in these houses of worship.

For more than 30 years, the Landmarks Conservancy’s award-winning Sacred Sites program has helped congregations maintain and restore iconic buildings. Sacred Sites is the only statewide initiative of its kind in the country. During the past three decades the program has disbursed over $10 million in grants to 767 congregations, helping to fund 1,400 restoration projects.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Sacred Sites program five years ago, the Conservancy inaugurated a statewide Sacred Sites Open House, inviting religious institutions from Buffalo to Brooklyn to open their doors to the public, introducing visitors to their extraordinary art, architecture, and history, as well as the wide range of social service and cultural programs they provide.

This year’s Sacred Sites Open House takes place May 20-21. Since its inception, the program has flourished – drawing 8,000-plus visitors in 2016. Faith & Form has been a sponsor of the Sacred Sites Open House since 2012, as has the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Historic Buildings Committee.

To kick off this year’s Sacred Sites Open House, the Conservancy hosted a gathering at Temple Emanu-El on March 21 with stained glass tours led by Arthur Femenella, Femenella & Associates, whose firm performed the restoration of stained glass in the sanctuary and side chapel. Peter A. Rohlf, Rohlf Stained and Leaded Glass Studio, led a tour of Greenwald Hall, an auditorium chapel featuring handsome landscape windows, including two by the Tiffany Studios, which his firm relocated from a former funeral chapel at Temple Emanu-El’s Salem Fields Cemetery in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn.

Other events preceding the Sacred Sites weekend include: a conservator-led tour of the stained glass conservation studio at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Conservancy’s Professional Circle members; a special stained glass-themed digital edition of Common Bond; and the annual Sacred Sites Open House photo contest. Special, pre-booked tours featuring magnificent stained glass and mosaics will be offered throughout New York City, including conservator-led tours of recently restored windows at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and a curator-led tour of Tiffany glass at Woodlawn Cemetery. Sacred Sites from Manhattan to Albany, Utica, and Buffalo will offer tours of stained-glass windows designed by British Pre-Raphaelite Henry Holiday. Fortuitously, the Corning Museum of Glass, a co-sponsor of this year’s Open House, is opening the first major exhibition dedicated to Tiffany’s glass mosaics on May 20. The Corning exhibit includes beautiful, interactive digital photographs of mosaics located in churches, chapels, cemeteries, and museums around the state. These mosaics can be viewed in situ via special Sacred Sites Open House tours.

Visit the NY Landmarks site for more information and a complete list of Sacred Sites participating in this year’s Open House Weekend.