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K-State Today

May 29, 2013

Hale Library Great Room closed for the summer

By Donna Ekart

Great Room windows

Thanks to a generous donation, windows in the historic Farrell Library Great Room inside Hale Library will be replaced this summer. The replacement necessitates closure of the room. Window replacement will begin Wednesday, May 30, and is expected to continue throughout the summer.

The project is undertaken by Willet Hauser Architectural Glass, a Minnesota-based company well known for its historic restorations and stained glass work across the country. Recent projects by Willet Hauser in Kansas include the First Presbyterian Church in Topeka and the Episcopal Cathedral in Salina.

The current Great Room window glass is not replaceable on a pane-by-pane basis, as the original window framing is zinc, not lead. Over the years cracked and broken panes have been patched by silicone and other materials, leading to poor environmental conditions inside the room. This summer's project will completely remove the seven windows along the north wall and the windows in the east and west alcoves from their stone settings. The original framing has been duplicated for leaded glass with panes hand-cut in the Willet Hauser factory. 

Once installed, the windows will be protected on the exterior by a clear lexan covering system. In addition to providing a physical barrier to the elements, this covering will provide UV protection for the recently restored historic murals on the Great Room's south wall while not affecting the historic character of the room and the building’s exterior. Once the windows are installed, the only discernible changes will be the addition of a border of purple stained glass and the lack of patchy repairs.