Barhydt Chapel windows installed
The stained glass windows on the south side of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center are all in place.
The final four windows that line the top of the ornate structure were installed Sept. 9. The step marks the completion of a project that began more than 10 years ago and cost about $75,000.
The stained glass windows were once in the Barhydt Chapel, which was dedicated on the Parsons College Campus in 1911 and stood until 2001 when it was demolished. Stained glass pieces, which together measure 14-feet-by-12.5-feet, were saved, as was the chapel’s organ.
Since 2001, the stained glass windows sat in Bovard Studio. In the past two years, a committee composed of Dave Neff, Suzan Kessel and Sally Denney raised money to install the colorful fixtures in Parsons Hall inside the convention center.
The money for the final four windows on the top row was donated by Fairfield resident Mark Hickenbottom and his daughters Mandie Conner, Michaela Van Hooser and Whitney Hickenbottom. Neff, who sits on the Parsons College Alumni Board of Directors and its foundation board, said the Hickenbottom family donated the money in honor of Mark’s wife and the girls’ mother, Kerry, who died in March.
Neff said the Hickenbottoms donated the money for the windows in the summer, which allowed for the project’s completion earlier this month.
Neff said the stained glass is a terrific addition to Parsons Hall. When the final pieces were put in place, fellow foundation board member Mark Shafer called Neff to tell him he had to go to the convention center immediately.
“He said, ‘Dave, whatever you’re doing, stop and come look at this window Bovard just completed. It’s magnificent. You’ve got to see it today. Don’t wait,’” Neff said.
Neff happened to arrive in time to see the Hickenbottom family on site and thank them in person.
Two smaller projects remain for Parsons Hall. Neff said the next phase of the stained glass project is to purchase L.E.D. lights to illuminate the stained glass. He said he is working with a company in Oskaloosa to decide whether to put lights both inside and outside the building. He said the fixture is so beautiful it deserves nighttime illumination for the public to see from the outside.
The second project involves restoring and installing four more Barhydt Chapel windows on the east and west sides of the convention center. These would be clerestory windows on an upper floor above eye level. Neff said he’s unsure how much the lighting or the restoration of the clerestory windows will cost.
The stained glass windows on the south side will be dedicated at the Parsons College Student/Alumni All-Class Reunion Oct. 5. Neff said the Hickenbottom family will be honored at the event.