Just in time for the Cathedral’s reopening week, stained-glass artisan Andrew Goldkuhle returned to reinstall the Lewis and Clark windows that he and his father, the late Dieter Goldkuhle (1938–2011), had removed months earlier for repair. After a visit with Mason Foreman Joe Alonso to the place in the crypt where Dieter is interred, the younger Goldkuhle then set to work in the craft he had learned at his father’s side.
Officially called Odyssey of the Spirit I and II, these windows depict scenes from Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s famed expedition through the Louisiana Purchase to the Northwest Territory. The set was designed by Anthony Mako and E. Crosby Willet, fabricated in 1973 by Willet Stained Glass Studios, and installed in Folger Bay on the west end of the nave’s south outer aisle. Years of baking in the sun, made worse by the bay’s southern exposure, caused the heavy glass in the windows to bow significantly; Andrew has observed that the Cathedral’s south-facing glass gets very hot, even during winter. Dieter, who is best remembered for installing Rowan LeCompte’s great “Creation” rose at the Cathedral, began restoring these windows after removing them with Andrew in 2010. “The day this window was taken out was the day my father was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. My brother Guido and I tried to carry on with our own odyssey. Now a year later we’re putting this window back.”
The Goldkuhles focused on cleaning the glass, replacing glazing that had worn away or deteriorated, and reinforcing the lead rods of “caming” that hold each individual piece of glass in place. Working on scaffolding both inside the nave and outside the window, Andrew carefully reinstalled each of the four lancets, each of which contains several smaller rectangular panes of glass. Cleaning was perhaps the hardest part—“You just keep on cleaning it, and you still find more to clean,” Andrew said—but the effort seems to have paid off. With every detail in the windows now gleaming brightly, Andrew’s father would certainly be proud. “When my father worked on windows, he made sure they would last once he was done with them,” Andrew says. “He taught his sons that ethic as well as his skills.”