This is the first in a forthcoming series on the architecture of Fourth Church.
The Great East Window in the Fourth Church Sanctuary was designed and made by renowned stained glass artist Charles J. Connick of Boston and dedicated in 1930. Its stone tracery around the glass is reminiscent of the traditional Jesse tree. The vine, leaves, and grapes provide a background for the large figures, which illustrate the growth of Christianity from the four major prophets through the four evangelists, accompanied by the commanding figures of Peter and Paul.
Similar to Connick’s east window in the Princeton University Chapel, the Great East Window, also known as the Nettie Fowler McCormick Memorial Window, was given to the church by the children of Nettie Fowler McCormick, widow of reaper inventor Cyrus McCormick. The McCormick family contributed almost half of the funds for building the Michigan Avenue sanctuary and Parish House facilities.
The bottom of the window panels reads “In Loving Memory of Nettie Fowler McCormick 1835–1923.”
In 1937, Fourth Church gave the east window that had been installed at the time the Sanctuary was built (1914) to the Roseland Presbyterian Church at 11200 S. State Street. That original window, done in the style of the grisaille windows that are along the aisles of the Fourth Church Sanctuary, can still be seen at the Roseland church, which is today known as Cornerstone Presbyterian Church.
Click on image to take a tour of the window: