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Save our [GL]Ass™

View from the exterior. You can see just how large (and heavy) the exterior doors are. The Terra Cotta Lofts across Locust Street are reflected in the glass.

It’s been one of those days around here.

Robert and Virginia’s place was burglarized Monday night around 10:00 p.m.  Somebody hopped the wrought iron fence, jimmied the slide lock on the heavy wood exterior doors, then proceeded to chuck a chunk of concrete through one of the interior door glass panes to gain access to our house. They stole the contents of the cash box, $98.

The cash isn’t the big loss here; the window is. It dates from the 1880s, so it was probably something the Campbell sons had installed after their parents passed away. Fortunately we have two — one in each door — and only one was broken during the burglary, so whoever makes the new pane will have a template to work from. However, this isn’t just any glass. The panes are large — 5 feet tall by 18 inches wide — and they were exceptionally well-crafted of etched and frosted glass. (Craftsmen who came by to give us estimates were nothing short of appalled that workmanship of such high quality had been destroyed.)

Detail of the broken pane. Note the intricate designs and subtle frosted shading and etching.

The intricate design is going to be labor-intensive to replicate in the same quality as its twin. We should have one estimate to replace the glass by the end of the day, but we know it’s not going to be pretty.

Executive Director Andy and Board Prez Fritz Clifford walked the Museum and the grounds on Tuesday afternoon with a security consultant to see what we can do to prevent this (or worse) from happening again.

Despite such a rough start to the day, we’ve been shocked at the downright enthusiastic support on the phone, and the good internet vibes from Facebook friends and our followers on Twitter. You’ve made us feel warm and fuzzy, and today hasn’t been all that bad because of it. You are the mac to our cheese, the peanut butter to our jelly, and the icing on our cake. Thanks for the virtual love today.

The football-sized culprit.

…but back to the mess at hand. We’ll get through this just like everything else, but if you have a few bucks to spare, we could sure use a little help to Save Our [Gl]ass™. If you can, please click our PayPal button below to throw a little our way. Campbell House is a private foundation that is not affiliated with any other institution, and we operate on a slim (read: no wiggle room for burglaries or excessive insurance deductibles and/or premiums) budget. We do not receive any sort of local, state or federal support. Generous people like you who see how history can enlighten, inspire and illuminate our modern world keep us going.

One bit of beauty from today’s mess: a chunk of glass that came out of the doorframe. See how black and sooty it is? That’s years of coal dust and pollution trapped on there. Remember, all of our lights were coal gas lights, the fireplaces were coal-fired, as was the furnace when it was installed.

Thanks again, and we’ll keep you updated on what’s happening.


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