Walt's Look Around: Inside the refurbished State Capitol buildin - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Inside the refurbished State Capitol building

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - There is scaffolding hanging all over the State Capitol Building in Jackson right now. It is getting a thorough refurbishing top to bottom. And that includes the huge stained glass windows. Pearl River Glass Studio is in charge of the work.

Andy Young, the owner, says these windows have had their share of stress. 

“The windows are over a hundred years old," said Young. "And they've been exposed to weather and they've been exposed to wind loads and hurricanes and tornadoes and what all.”

So when you are working with windows like that and making them actually better than new before it's all over, it takes more than just a squirt bottle of Windex. 

“Pearl River Glass studio here in Jackson is performing the restoration of the stained glass in the building and they are removing the second of the three monumental windows," said Lawson Newman, the architect in charge of the Capitol restoration project. "And this one is the image of Mother Mississippi. So they will be taking it to their studio where they will restore the window.”

One of the large windows is already in the works at the studio, the image of the Native American. Jennifer Baughn, the chief architectural historian at Archives and History, says the artist for our windows, Louis Millet, had a special touch. A docent showed it to her while comparing him to Tiffany glass side by side.

“Look at the hands and the faces. They just shine with a special brilliance that Tiffany's don't," Jennifer said the docent told her. "She said Tiffany knew the techniques and he was an innovator in glass but he wasn't the artist that Millet was. That's what she said.”

After a little coaxing Mother Mississippi finally leaves her century-old resting place and is eased out of the frame.

“Well the sash is a little bigger than the opening so we trimmed the wood a little,” said Austin Richardson of Pearl River Glass.

It takes a lot of nerve to tackle these windows. But all of the glasswork, as well as the whole project, is scheduled to be finished completely by the time the next legislative session opens next January.

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