St. Luke the Evangelist Parish
Centennial Stained-Glass Restoration Project

St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Lakewood celebrates the 100th Anniversary of its founding, which occurred on April 18, 1922. The Parish will enjoy many commemorative events in honor of its Centennial from the Feast of St. Luke, October 18, 2021 until October 18, 2022. The Centennial is focused on celebrating the Parish history as well as “Going Forward in Christ,” the motto for the Centennial.

Among the great legacy treasures of the Parish that require attention to restore and preserve for future generations are the beautiful stained-glass windows in the church.


The church has a total of 17 major stained-glass windows. The windows bathe the entire church in a beautiful spectrum of light on sunny days, and offer a dramatic feature engaging observers from outside at night. The windows, mostly featuring depictions of saints, are also rich in iconography that tell intricate stories.


The Need for Restoration

The stained-glass windows of St. Luke were created and installed when the current church was opened in 1951, and so have their own 70-year anniversary.

Stained-glass windows require periodic restoration. In addition to cleaning and restoring colors from abrasions, the structural integrity of the leaded glass connections, called “cames,” requires inspection and repair.  As noted by the National Park Service in a guide to leaded glass care and restoration, “A came is prone to natural deterioration from weathering and from thermal expansion and contraction, which causes metal fatigue.”  See more at

The need for restoration of the St. Luke windows is amplified because of how the windows were preserved.  In the 1970’s, protective plexiglass was installed outside the windows. This plexiglass protected the windows from flying debris and other potential damage. Unfortunately, the plexiglass also trapped heat against the windows. Over decades, this continuous heating has damaged the leaded structure of the windows and significantly weakened their structural integrity.

Many people overlook the pelican depicted in the beautiful rose window facing Clifton Blvd. The pelican for centuries has been recognized as a Christian symbol for Christ because it was believed that the mother pelican would tear her very flesh as food for her young.

Real and Growing Defects

When observing the spectacular color of the windows, corrosive effects of heat, wear and age may not be readily apparent. These defects and risks, however, are real and growing.

For example, the window depicting St. John Vianney on the choir loft east wall looks like this (on the left).  But closer inspection (two on the right) shows actual holes from structural failure plus damage to the darker colors of the window.

Restoration is Time-Consuming and Costly

Skilled craftsmen will painstakingly:

  • Remove the plexiglass and secure the window structurally;
  • Some windows may have to be removed completely and sent off-site for restoration;
  • Take many areas of the windows apart to replace or reinforce the leaded structure;
  • Remove some pieces of the windows to restore color or replace sections due to damage or failure; and
  • Install a new protective exterior that will not create excessive heat build up.

This detailed restoration process may take a number of years. The restoration can be expected to preserve the windows for many decades.

The cost of this expert, detailed work is significant. Accounting for unforeseen contingencies, the project is currently estimated to cost $150,000.00 or more to complete the restoration and preservation of all of the stained-glass windows in the church.

Preserving a Symbol of Our Vibrant Community

The restoration project will be made a reality only through the thoughtful contributions of many. Every contribution, large and small, restores and preserves the church windows as an enduring gift to future generations.   Please call the Parish Office if you would like more information.

Recognized Window Sponsorship Opportunities

Window Sponsors A contribution of $20,000 can be recognized as the Restoration Sponsor of the rose window facing Clifton Blvd.
A contribution of $10,000 can be recognized as Restoration Sponsor of one of the twelve tall windows of the Apostles and St. Paul.
A contribution of $5,000 can be recognized as a Restoration Sponsor of one of four other windows over the side doors and in the choir loft.


Any donation can be made by check payable “St. Luke Parish” and noting “Centennial Restoration” in the memo line and sent to:

St. Luke Parish
Centennial Restoration Project
1212 Bunts Road
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

Restoring and extending the beauty and enduring teaching told in the St. Luke stained-glass windows is a worthy project to mark the Centennial of the parish. Going forward in Christ into our second century, the windows are a symbol of our vibrant community.