North Adams library to benefit from stained glass

Local stained glass artist Debora Coombs is working on a special tribute to donors to the city's renovated and expanded public library.

Making a donation of her own with her time, she is creating a stained glass window to hang in the building's vestibule.

The stained glass scene will be of the original entrance to the Houghton Memorial building. Below it will be the names of those donors who have contributed at least $1,000 to the library's capital campaign.

"It's full of text," said Coombs. "And there will be a reflection in the door that's the city of North Adams."

It was Coombs who came up with the window's design. She felt the nature of the building called for something with a historic feel.

"To me, it was the donors who have enabled the way in to a new building," she said. "I think it's really important that they're recognized. And, in a sense, you need to respect the architecture that's there, and create something that's permanent and beautiful and lasting."

Located near the library's new entrance, "It will connect the old with the new," said Library Director Marcia Gross. "We're very excited about having this."

The stained glass window, which will be 5-feet square in size, will add ambiance to the library, Gross said.

"It is very generous of her to do that," said Gross of Coombs' work.

In addition, KMS Signs of North Adams is donating stencils for the text of the donors' names.

The glass will be sand-blasted over the stenciled area, paint will fill in the text and be fired so the names will be etched permanently in the glass, Coombs said.

The design is still a work in progress. It has yet to be decided if the reflection of North Adams will appear in the winter, spring, summer or fall, and the list of donor names is growing.

Coombs expects to have the window ready in time for the library's opening in January 2005.

It's not too late for donors to have their names immortalized in the stained glass piece. Those donating a minimum of $1,000 within the next few months may have their names included, Gross said.

"People who have already contributed $500 could add another $500 to bring their donation up to $1,000 if they wanted," she said.

600450 North Adams library to benefit from stained glass
Date: 15 June 2004

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