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Building Restoration class to restore historic Bradfield building window

Posted 02/29/16

A historic Barnesville landmark is getting some help from students in the Building Preservation/Restoration (BPR) program at Belmont College. 

Barnesville resident Denny Wees, who is the stain glass restoration instructor, approached Ohio Hills Health Services, current occupant of the historic Bradfield building, about having the BPR students repair and restore one of the eight stain glass windows as their spring term volunteer field project.

BPR is one of the oldest and most recognized programs of its kind in the nation. The program includes classroom education,  workshops where students apply that classroom knowledge, and field work where they practice the techniques learned in the workshops on real-world preservation projects. 

OHHS Community Service Director Lana Phillips said the non-profit health care center will provide the $1,000 in materials. She said the window, facing busy Chestnut Street, was chipped by rocks. Vibrations from heavy truck traffic, combined with time, have caused the glass to loosen in all the windows.  OHHS is looking for funding sources to restore and strengthen all eight windows, original to the 1891 building which is in the Barnesville National Register Historic District.

The building was constructed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, popular at the time and easily identified by the large stone arches over windows and doors.

Jeff Britton, Executive Director for Ohio Hills Health Services, said a stain glass expert he consulted in Pittsburgh told him the glass in the windows was imported from Italy in the late 1800s.

Britton also said that Joe Bradfield told him the windows were covered with wooden panels on the inside sometime prior to 1955 when Bradfield began working at the bank. If funding and donations are obtained to restore and strengthen all the windows, it is hoped the wooden panels can be removed and the windows can be enjoyed the way the were originally designed to be, with the light shining through.

Twelve students enrolled in BPR program were at OHSS on Friday to carefully removethe window by loosening it from both sides and tipping it inward. They will repair and restore the window this spring semester and bring it back to Barnesville to be reinstalled in May.

OHHS purchased the Bradfield building in October 2006 after Wesbanco vacated it in September of that year, consolidating its three Barnesville banking facilities into one location at 230 E. Main St.. On June 4, 2007, OHHS relocated its Barnesville Family Health Center and administration office, and thus, became the most recent business to occupy the former G.C. Murphy Building and historic Bradfield Building.