Stained glass windows at Longmont's Old St. Stephen's Church broken in suspected vandalism

Aug. 12—Longmont police are investigating suspected vandalism at one of the city's historic buildings, Old St. Stephen's Church on Main Street, after two of the building's stained glass windows were broken.

Alyce DeSantis, executive director of the St. Vrain Historical Society, said two of the church's stained glass windows were broken by rocks — one window above the front door and a middle window on the south side of the building.

Members of Trailhead Church, who rent the building from the historical society, went to use the building Thursday evening and saw the broken windows, said David Barton, Trailhead's pastor.

"There is broken glass all over inside," he said.

Barton said members of the church saw the broken windows about 6:45 p.m., contacted DeSantis by email and notified police.

Robin Ericson, spokesperson for the Longmont Public Safety Department, said the exact time the damage occurred is unknown. She added that police are looking into surveillance video in the area.

Barton said a rock that was thrown through the south window landed inside on the other side of the building, and a rock that was thrown into the front window ricocheted back outside. All of the 100 chairs, which serve as church pews, are covered in glass and are ruined, Barton said.

Trailhead Church is planning an alternative location for its Sunday service, but Barton believes it will be able to return to Old St. Stephen's Church in about a week.

"Our situation internally will be solved," he said. "It's more about a historic building and historic glass. The feel of that in the community is not a positive thing. People in the community really resonate with this building. This feels like a violation in our community that impacts people as a whole."

DeSantis said the windows on the church were reproduced to mirror the original windows, from when the church was built in 1881.

"We own three other properties in the community," DeSantis said. "The maintenance and operation is a heavy financial burden for us. This is just compounded by COVID. We have been essentially limited with our fundraisers. We are trying to collect ourselves and this happened. It's just a really, really sad and terrible situation."

Longmont police are asking anyone with information about the damage to call 303-651-8555 and reference report #22-6492.

People can call 303-776-1870 or email to donate to the historical society.