First Presbyterian was founded in 1848 and had a succession of two sanctuaries on Marietta Street until 1915. The church then moved “way out” to 16th and Peachtree with the full sanctuary being dedicated in 1919. The architect provided a plan for a number of large windows “for light and ventilation,” and the pastor, Dr. Lyons, developed a plan and designs for the installation of stained glass windows. There are a total of twenty windows in four locations throughout the church. Seven windows are by Tiffany, four by D’Ascenzo and nine by Willet.
Ten History Windows
There are twelve large windows in the sanctuary. Ten of these windows surround the floor of the sanctuary, five on each side. These represent ten events, or stories, from the history of the Bible.
The structure of each window is complex. The primary scene is composed of three windows (or panes) which together are referred to as a “trefoil,” or tripartite schema. Above the trefoil are eight tall, slender panes (or windows) which appear similar in all ten windows but are distinctly different. We have adopted the term Octet, or the Mansions, for these panes.
Below the trefoil are three smaller windows, which we refer to as the Triplet. The center window of the Triplet contains a primary element which links each window to the previous window, or the time before. Further below are two more small “windows,” referred to as the Pair. On one side of the sanctuary these are filled with stained glass and illuminated from outside as are the larger windows. On the other side, mosaics have been used to fill the spaces.
For a full description of each history window, click the panes below. For resource documents, click here.