Colorado State University police are asking anyone with information about a burglary that caused damage to the Danforth Chapel to contact them. Police believe that the incident, which included vandals shattering a one-of-a-kind stained glass window, happened between 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 and 5:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 23.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact CSUPD at 970-491-6425.
The burglars broke into the chapel through a large, floor to ceiling stained glass window, which faced west, shattering a two-foot by three-foot panel. While in the chapel, the suspects are believed to have gone through several cabinets and storage areas.
The stained glass window is a focal point of the chapel, which was built in 1954 at the north end of the Oval on Laurel Street and Oval Drive. Heralded as one of the most beautiful buildings on campus, the chapel was designed by renowned architect James Hunter, and is known as a non-denominational gathering place that features copper doors, walnut pews and, most famously, stained glass.
The window that was shattered was installed as part of the original building. It was crafted from mouth-blown glass made with techniques used in the 12th century for cathedral glass. It includes glass pieces imported from expert craftsmen in England, France and Germany.
University Facilities Management is currently working with the original window manufacturer in West Virginia to determine the value of the window, but estimate that it will total in the thousands of dollars. Facilities is also working to see if a panels matching the original design can be recreated.
The window, a work of art called “The Genesis,” depicts a theme with symbols and concepts found in every religious faith — air, earth, fire and water. Some glass includes fused drawings made with pigments melted into the glass at temperatures of 1200 degrees.
The chapel hosts the university’s memory garden, created in 2014 as a place of reflection. It has been the site of thousands of weddings, memorial services and other events. The university is compiling application materials to nominate the chapel to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Damage caused during a burglary to the Danforth Chapel between the evening of Oct. 22 and the early morning hours of Oct. 23.