But time, weather and shifting foundations have caused many of the intricate designs to buckle and crack.
That means a lot of business for J&R Lamb Studios, which began operating in 1857 and is the oldest stained glass maker in the United States, according to industry experts. Stained glass restoration represents a growing part of the business.
"I believe we are just looking at the tip of the iceberg of the restoration business," said owner Donald Sammick, who bought the prominent shop from the Lamb family in 1970.
The company started in Manhattan's Greenwich Village and was at other New Jersey locations before moving to Clifton in 2001.
More than half of the shop's 30-plus current jobs are restorations, Sammick said, who estimated that Lamb's revenues last year were about $1 million.
Because they have been operating continuously for 150 years, some of their renovations involve repeat business _ of a sort.