PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Stock Exchange Building and adjacent properties will eventually turn into the new Point Park University Playhouse.
Before construction work began, university staff made a surprising discovery above a dropped ceiling, installed in the ’50s. Architect/Planner Elmer Burger says he was amazed to find a stained glass ceiling that’s 114-years-old.
“It was a glorious surprise,” he said.
Craftsmen for Williams Stained Glass Company removed glass panels and brought them to the restoration studio in Castle Shannon.
Manager/designer Keeley Hancock says they have been working on the stained glass for more than a year.
“Attention to detail is very important, because each of these little pieces of glass are cut by hand and leaded and soldered. And it’s just a long, tedious process,” Hancock said.
It’s difficult enough to restore a stained-glass window. But what do you do when a 114-year-old window is completely missing? That was true in one case.
Hancock spent hours designing, at her computer. She says employees like Nathan Olivieri then took over.
“Getting that exact design in there, and doing glass matches, so the missing one will look exactly like the old ones,” she said.
The restored glass will complete the Playhouse project.
“When you’re up on the second level of the whole Playhouse complex,” architect Burger says, “you’ll walk into a café, and you’re immediately drawn up to the ceiling, with the stained glass.”
It’s hoped that the project will be completed by autumn.