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Building Conservation Associates

First Presbyterian Church

Location: Stamford, Connecticut
Year Built: 1958
Original Architect: Wallace K. Harrison

The First Presbyterian Church, located in Stamford, Connecticut, was designed by Wallace K. Harrison of the firm Harrison and Abramovitz, and dedicated in 1958. Due to the unique shape of its Sanctuary, the modernist church is often referred to as the “Fish Church.” The complex consists of a Sanctuary, attached Parish House, and freestanding Carillion Tower. A defining feature of the Sanctuary is the dalle de verre stained glass windows, which compose most of the north, south, and east elevations and wrap above the roofline. Dalle de verre is a twentieth-century form of stained glass developed in France in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The dalle de verre at the First Presbyterian Church was fabricated by the stained-glass artist Gabriel Loire, whose studio remains in operation near Chartres, France. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2021.

The project involved a conditions assessment of the exterior envelope and the dalle de verre in the Chapel as part of a larger Conservation Management Plan. As the materials conservation consultant, BCA conducted archival research, performed a conditions assessment of the entire exterior envelope, conducted laboratory testing, and made treatment recommendations.