What began as a memorial created by two widows for their deceased husbands is now one of Topeka’s most prized artistic treasures. Back in 1911, the First Presbyterian Church sanctuary became a showcase for a stunning collection of authentic Tiffany stained-glass windows. Louis Comfort Tiffany spent two weeks assessing the light patterns that played across the church’s interior at all times of day. He used his iridescent Favrile glass to create the windows without paint, enamels or stains. Instead, cobalt, gold, copper and other minerals compose the colors, and the formulas were destroyed upon Tiffany’s death at his request. Multiple glass layers create three-dimensional jewels that protrude from the window and wrinkled textures that create the appearance of folds in the flowing robes.
Amid natural wood and neutral paint, the windows glow in pale sunlight. Even from a distance, each design has surprising depth. Located high above the sanctuary floor and beside pipes for the massive organ, The Ascension’s exquisite detail is clearly visible from far below.