I love stained glass, especially Tiffany, and I love old architecture, so I was thrilled when I heard I was to visit one of the sites on our new Tiffany Stained Glass Trail tour in Richmond, as part of my training at the Wayne County Convention & Tourism Bureau. Before starting my new job as Communication/PR Coordinator, I had heard there were Tiffany windows here, but I didn’t realize Richmond is home to a “National Art Treasure”, a whole collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows, all within a five-block area.
While there are only a handful of churches in the country that can claim to have all Tiffany windows, all 62 windows and the interior of the Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, at 1004 N. “A” Street in downtown Richmond, were entirely designed by the Tiffany studio. Before I had even entered the sanctuary and viewed the glass windows, I was struck by the beauty of the church’s vestibule, with the tiled floors, marble base boards, intricately carved woodwork and doors, and brass hardware.
The sanctuary is breathtakingly beautiful, with tall stained glass windows on three sides, and a gigantic pipe organ at the front. It is difficult to know what to look at first: the vaulted ceiling and huge chandelier, the towering organ, or the rich colors and details of the windows. Although it was a cloudy day, the glass surrounding the figure of Jesus in the north and south windows glowed yellow, as if a bright light was shining through. I can only imagine how beautiful and awe-inspiring the windows must be on a sunny Sunday morning, when music from the pipe organ is vibrating the space within the church. Such a touching memorial to Daniel and Anna Gray Dougan Reid, the parents of Daniel Reid who had the church built in 1904-1906.