Skip to main content

Greenspring's Iconic Stained Glass Window Gets a Makeover

October 6, 2015

(Springfield, Va.) - In November 2005, Greenspring retirement community celebrated the installation of a stained glass window in the community's Chapel.  The window serves as a focal point on campus not only for the Chapel, but for the community as a whole.  This summer, the window was removed, restored, and rebuilt; now, it is back and better than ever.

Ten years ago, when considering a window design for the non-denominational Chapel, residents selected the image of a dove with an olive branch, a universal representation of peace.   Greenspring turned to Gene Higgins, a local stained glass artist, to craft the design and install the window.  Higgins, the Studio Director for Epiphany Studios, Inc., located in Middletown, Va., found himself back at Greenspring this summer to make some adjustments, repairs, and improvements to the window.

"As people entered in the campus, they would see that window illuminated and the blessing of peace would be upon them," said Higgins.  "Peace is what we need. The calm flowing lines and the violet-blue range of colors of the background may remind some of the water, sky, or distant mountains. They are a good focal point for contemplation."

The Chapel's stained glass window is just over 86 inches in diameter and weighs about 300lbs.  According to Higgins, it took six people to remove and re-install the window.  In its original design, there was a visible support bar running through the middle of the glass; with new and advanced techniques in engineering, the support bar was able to be removed.  The window was completely rebuilt using both the original glass and incorporating some new glass, as well.  Higgins also installed a clear, laminated safety glass on the exterior of the window for further protection.  The window was re-installed at Greenspring in September.

"The Dove window in the Chapel is an important feature because it is a shared symbol among many faith traditions," said Loyce Craft, the pastoral ministries manager at Greenspring.  "It sets the atmosphere and tone for the Chapel—inviting all to come and experience the peace, calm, and serenity it represents."

About Greenspring:Greenspring, one of 18 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 58-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia.  The community is home to nearly 2000 residents, many of whom reside in the community's 1404 independent living apartment homes.  At Greenspring, over 200 resident-run and resident-driven programs promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average.  Additional information about Greenspring can be found at