The synagogues massive rose window, a Moorish mosaic of soft greens, ambers and blues, is like a brand-new window again, said Portland stained-glass craftsman David Schlicker.
The rose and several smaller windows on the west end of the historic building will be sound again thanks to a recent renovation, Schlicker said.
Crews built a four-story scaffold in September. They removed the windows piece by piece, said Sherrill Livingston, a member of the congregation since 1996 and chair of the LChaim (to life) window-restoration project.
The windows were packed into a van and taken to Schlickers shop in Portland. They recently made the journey home. The scaffold is still up, but crews are nearly finished with the reinstallation process.
Schlicker has done numerous glass restoration projects, including one at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Hailey. The wall of windows that traveled to Portland contains about 1,000 separate pieces of glass. Schlicker had to replace close to 200 of them because of damage.
This was a challenge. Some of the colors in the 117-year-old windows are no longer produced commercially. Schlicker tried to use as much old glass as possible. Luckily, he has amassed a giant collection of remnants and shards during his 35 years in the restoration business.
Im a pack rat, he said.
Some pieces of glass from his collection were close color matches.
The wood frame supporting the windows is practically new, too. The frames were on the verge of disintegrating, said Brian Leisten from C.M. Co. Inc.
Again, matching materials was difficult. The original frames were made of old-growth pine, no longer available. The C.M. Co. rebuilt them from poplar, which matches the characteristics of the original wood and meets historic restoration guidelines, Leisten said.
The entire building, including its windows, survived a 2003 move from its original site at State and 11th streets to its current location on Latah Street near Morris Hill Cemetery.
In a nice touch of continuity, the C.M. Co. handled the 60-ton buildings move, an arduous middle-of-the-night process that took six hours and involved moving phone lines and tree limbs.
The congregation has been planning the window restoration since 2009 Not the best time, economically, to start a fundraising effort, Livingston said.
But the congregation was able to raise the $137,000 needed in about a year. It was a community effort. A Boise business, Columbia Paint, donated the paint for the project.
The other windows in the building, including a second rose window on the east end, were repaired in place and didnt have to travel to Portland.
Anna Webb: 377-6431