The Sewell’s sign at 221 East Park Ave before being removed for restoration.

The Sewell’s sign at 221 East Park Ave before being removed for restoration.

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volunteers needed!

Volunteers are critical to the sign restoration effort, as they will provide the labor. Stained glass expert Mike Winters of Great Falls will train volunteers in the restoration process.

For information about upcoming volunteer sessions, see Events. To volunteer, email Butte CPR at info@buttecpr.org or call Lee at 559-0993.

For more information about the project, see an article from The Montana Standard on our In the News page.

Some of the lead strips that hold the glass in place were failing, causing portions of the window to buckle.

Some of the lead strips that hold the glass in place were failing, causing portions of the window to buckle.

The iconic glass sign over the entrance to the former Sewell’s Hardware building is getting a new lease on life this summer.

The transom sign, a feature of uptown Butte since 1916, is covered in 100 years of grit and grime and was in danger of collapsing.

The sign has been removed and will be cleaned and repaired before being reinstalled in its longtime location at 221 East Park Ave.

The sign is made up of glass prism tiles, designed to reflect maximum light into the interior of the building, and the Sewell’s name is spelled out in red stained glass. There are other transoms with prism tiles in Butte, but the Sewell’s sign is the only one that incorporates stained glass.

The restoration project is a joint effort between the Butte-Silver Bow Historic Preservation Commission, Butte CPR, and building owner Joe Floreen. The preservation commission was awarded a $3,250 grant from the Montana History Foundation, which will pay for supplies and guidance from stained glass expert Mike Winters of Great Falls.

Winters will instruct volunteers in how to clean the glass and repair the lead strips, or cames. This is a great opportunity for community members to not only help save a piece of Butte history, but to learn about stained glass restoration.

Sewell’s Hardware operated in that location from 1916 until 1971 when Walter Sewell Jr., son of the business founder, retired. Floreen currently uses the space as a warehouse.