Skip to content

Photos from the Barrel removal…

2014-03-18 10.30.18




2014-03-18 14.30.38











Barreling ahead!

Restoration of the stained glass windows continued last week with the removal of the barrel vault stained glass panels over the grand staircase.

Lots of media attention!:

From the front page of the Pierre Capital Journal:

The AP moved this story version for print, as shown in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader:

The AP moved this story version for broadcast, as shown at the Sioux Falls CBS affiliate KELO:

Pierre’s KCCR radio has a few stories over the last couple of days on their news page:

KGFX ran this story with audio and video:

Capitol Glass, Phase 2!

Check out this new article about the beginning of phase 2… the removal of the glass in the barrel ceiling!

The link to the article is here and the text and images are below:

Capitol stained glass restoration begins second phase of project

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:24 am | Updated: 8:55 am, Thu Mar 20, 2014.

By David Rookhuyzen

As the Legislature winds up it session, a different kind of work has begun in the halls of the Capitol building – not to improve the state, but to restore the shine and prestige of the century-plus-old statehouse.

Crews from Conrad Schmitt Studios Inc. in Milwaukee began removing individual panels from the barrel vault skylight above the building’s grand staircase this week to start a months-long restoration process. The actual work to take down the stained glass started Tuesday and by mid-afternoon Wednesday, 60 out of the 90 panels in the skylight had been removed.

Mike Mueller, state special projects curator, said the remaining 30 panels along the bottom of the barrel vault will be cleaned and inspected, but not removed. Because they are not curved and have a more standard grid structure, those panels have aged much better that the rest, he said.

The work on the barrel vault is the second phase in a $2.7 million restoration project focusing on the Capitol’s stained glass. The 64 panels in the building’s rotunda were removed in August and the large panels over the Senate and House chambers will be removed next month.

After being restored and repaired, the panels will be replaced starting in June and culminating in time for the state’s 125th anniversary in November.

The work is being conducted after an assessment last summer showed most of the panels were in poor condition. Most had considerable warping or slumping, with signs of a few inadequate repairs having being conducted since they were installed in 1909. Many panels didn’t have frames and were resting directly on plaster. There is even evidence that the panels above the senate and house were installed upside down.

Kevin Grabowski, national projects director for Conrad Schmitt, said the smaller size of the barrel vault panels and their being curved across only one plane makes this part of the restoration the easiest out of the project’s four phases.

The barrel vault panels are 32 by 43 inches and weigh roughly 20 pounds. The panels in the rotunda and Senate and House chambers are much larger and heavier, and the glass in the rotunda is curved both horizontally and vertically, he said.

The removal of the barrel vault panels has gone quickly, without surprises or incident. Grabowski said that can be credited to the detailed work that was done before the panes left their resting places.

“Much of the removal process had been done before today,” he said.

The panels will be shipped to Conrad Schmitt’s studios on Friday to join the other stained glass from the Capitol that is currently being worked on.

Out of the 64 panels from the Capitol’s rotunda, 36 have been completely restored and are only waiting to be fitted into custom steel frames, Grabowski said. The remaining panels are in various phases of restoration.

Grabowski said the work in the studio is exceeding expectations, and the restored rotunda panels are much stronger than before, even without the steel frames. They have also returned to their former luster.

“Even someone who is not an expert can look at the before and after photos and say ‘wow,’” he said.

Barbara Johnson, who has studied stained glass over the past five years with a grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council, was on hand as part of her study into the original makers of the glass.

Johnson has been hunting for the original manufacturer since last summer, but so far has not found any hard evidence of who created the panels. She is hoping that among the soda cans and candy wrappers that make up the debris around the top side of the panels, there may be some older clues from the time the glass was installed.

“There is always the chance there is one small remembrance of what the installers left behind,” Johnson said.

DR_032014StainedGlass (6).jpg

Workers from Conrad Schmitt Studios Inc. remove a panel from the barrel vault skylight in the Capitol building on Wednesday.












Full steam ahead!

With the full scaffolding system in place, work has gotten into full swing!















As the project begins, we set scaffold in a small area and paint typical elements as shown in the approved rendering.  This gives our craftsman and our clients a chance to review colors and design choices to make sure any needed adjustments are made before the entire scaffolding system is in place.






Restoring St. Ann Catholic Church in Monterey, Indiana!

Final designs have been approved for the impending restoration of St. Ann Catholic Church in Monterey, IN.

The interior will be decorated using faux painting, gilding, glazing and gold leafing to bring out the beautiful architecture that exists.

Stay tuned for progress photos as the project unfolds!


The existing interior above, and the Artistic rending concept for the restoration below!