BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Stained Glass Association of America is based in Buffalo, and Executive Administrator Megan McElfresh says she's sure that if called upon, any of the association's members would be more than willing to help with the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral.
"In a way, the windows of Notre Dame are almost legend," McElfresh said. "Even if you've never seen them, you know of them. You can picture that rose window in your head."
They have 60 accredited craftsman and artisans in their association, spread out all across the country.
While many are eager, McElfresh admits it's too early to say if and when that call will go out.
The cathedral's famous Rose windows, three immense round stained-glass windows, escaped catastrophic damage.
But McElfresh says it could be weeks, months, even years before the full extent of damage is known.
"You're on site weeks later, and the glass is lying in a mangled heap on the floor," McElfresh said, "and you're still hearing it 'ping, ping, ping' as the stress that's introduced to the artwork is having a resonant effect."
UB Associate Professor of Art History and Executive Director of the Humanities Institute, Elizabeth Otto tells 2 On Your Side the first priority will likely be protecting the remaining 13th-century structure that survived the fire.
"They're working on stabilizing the structure," Otto said. "Of course, it's lost its roof, so it's very vulnerable to all kinds of damage, and they're going to have to get some kind of temporary situation, some kind of temporary structure in place."
Otto adds that the spire falling was devastating to watch, but it's not a part of the original structure.
"As historians we know that is a 19th-century structure. That spire has fallen before and has been restored before," Otto said. "And it will rise again. The Forest, which is that roof structure, which itself was also 13th century ... a lot of that wood has been burned and a lot of the wood on the interior ... so what remains is going to have to be protected from the elements, of course."
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