Luzerne Street art

Tim Makdad stands beside his window

When Tim Makdad saw the plain glass window at his new home on Luzerne Street in Westmont, he knew it needed something.

THE REST OF THE HOUSE WAS something special.

“My wife, Beth, and I always knew we wanted our children to grow up in Westmont,” Makdad says. “We looked for a couple of years to find a house.

“The first day the house went on the market, we bought it.”

Makdad appreciates architectural appeal of the historic homes in the borough.

“We fell in love with the house for so many reasons,” he says. “The arches, a big bay window up front, an eyebrow window.”

The couple spent six months remodeling the house. “We refinished the hardwood and brought the house back to life.”

But that blank, 8x3-foot window kept bothering Makdad.

He knew what it needed. As a second-generation stained glass manufacturer – his father, Ed Makdad, started Cambria Glass in 1980 – he knew the spot was perfect for a leaded stained glass piece.

Makdad who has worked at Cambria Glass since high school spoke to Lisa Mull, the company’s glass artist, about the empty window.

“We discussed it and I finally said, ‘We gotta do Luzerne Street. How does this not make sense? I have the perfect window and I am on Luzerne Street.’”

Lisa agreed and the two started discussing what it would take to create a stained glass piece worthy of the home and the setting.

“I told Lisa, ‘We gotta go big,’” Makdad says.

The pair researched pictures of the street at different seasons and finally settled on one taken by Cover Studio. The photographer was happy to supply Makdad with a high resolution print of the scene and Makdad and Mull started their search for the perfect glass.

“We made several trips to Youghiogeny Glass in Connellsville (in Fayette County) and handpicked each piece of glass,” Makdad says.

Mull, who became interested in stained glass during art classes at Richland High School, has worked in the medium for over 30 years.

She says the Luzerne Street piece is unique. “Each piece is individually chosen,” she says. “We use layers to get the colors we want.”

Makdad says the piece, now completed, includes accent pieces collected by he and his father over the years.

While the piece is still in the shop, Makdad says he looks forward to having it installed at his home.

“At night, I will have it lit,” he says.

“It will look really neat from outside.”  

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