Artists create new windows for old county courthouse

January 4, 2011

Thanks to a group of local artists, the former Henry County courthouse in uptown Martinsville has a new outlook.

During several months in 2010, local artists The Five Glassy Chix worked with the Martinsville Henry County Historical Society to refurbish and create several leaded glass door and transom windows for the courthouse, which was constructed in 1824.

Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society President Virginia King, whose group led the renovation efforts, commissioned the artists last winter to refurbish two windows from the outside exit doors of the upstairs courtroom. Under the guidance of Amanda Honoré Donley, then an instructor for Patrick Henry Community College’s School of Craft and Design, the group cleaned and reassembled the windows. They then were reinstalled in the courthouse doors.

Last summer, King again commissioned the artists to create replacements for two door and two transom windows that were missing from the lower front entrance of the courthouse. The Chix worked from a design provided by King to create the windows in a boxed diamond pattern.

“Repairing the two door windows for the courtroom exit doors had been our lesson in how to construct the new door windows and transoms,” said Lynn Berry of The Five Glassy Chix. “We simply repeated those steps in creating the new windows.”

It took the group several weeks to complete the windows, which can be seen in and above the front entrance doors to the courthouse.

“It is exciting to drive by the historic courthouse, see our work and know that the windows will be there for many, many years to come,” Berry said.

The Five Glassy Chix include Aleen Wilson, Berry, Doris Falls, Nancy Clark and Susan Henderson. They work out of Studio 107 Artists Studios for Piedmont Arts in uptown Martinsville.

For more information about The Five Glassy Chix or Studio 107, visit


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