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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Window rescue begins at fire-razed Methodist Church

  • An attempt to rescue Syracuse Methodist Church's stained-glass windows is underway in Syracuse this morning.

    Ken Halvorsen, whose family has attended the church for six generations, removed five windows from the south side where there was no danger of collapse following the Jan. 5 fire that gutted the building.
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  • An attempt to rescue Syracuse Methodist Church's stained-glass windows is underway in Syracuse this morning.
    Ken Halvorsen, whose family has attended the church for six generations, removed five windows from the south side where there was no danger of collapse following the Jan. 5 fire that gutted the building.
    The peaks of remaining walls were then knocked down until Halvorsen and his crew were convinced that only sturdy walls remained.
    The then began the job of removing the large sanctuary windows from the east and west sides.
    Halvorsen's son, Wesley, removed the first wood-framed window from the east array. It had a few broken panes, but Halvorsen said the damage was probably caused by something hitting the window, rather than heat or water damage. The glass leading had not melted and most of the glass appeared in good condition.
    There is obvious damage to the large window on the west side, however, with many missing and broken panes.
    Halvorsen said his crew is hoping to salvage enough of the glass that they can be combined together to make one window.
    Halvorsen, who was baptized at the church along with his father and all of his children, said he senses the importance of the work.
    “By what dad said, grandfather was among four men who met to decide to build the church,” he said.
    “We can preserve a good part of history, not only church history, but city and county history. Some of these windows date back to the earlier church,” he said.
    The church cornerstone says 1898 and the new church building was dedicated in 1910. The congregation includes mergers of the historic Turlington Chapel and the Otoe Methodist Church. The Otoe Room at the church is in the education center and was not damaged by fire.
     
     
     
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