Steve Motl and Jim Rivett review ceiling options in the old part of the church

I have a terrible habit of ordering the same thing depending on which restaurant I visit. For example, every time I eat at Noodles I habitually order the Indonesian Noodles with Peanut Sauce. As dull and uninteresting as this may sound there is, for me, a sense of comfort in the idea that my experience will not change and, basically, I really don’t need to think at all when placing my order, another calming factor. No change, no surprises—just reassuring consistency.

Although no change and its predictability can be a nice occurrence, real change can challenge us in very positive ways. It can bring on the emotion of excitement, a feeling of newness, and fresh, awe-struck loveliness. Take for example getting a new car, new glasses, or just simply a new outfit.


Looking west at one of two large stained glass windows that

span both the main level and loft.

612 Stuart Street is a big, emotionally charged change for Arketype. Just yesterday while moving through the space, I felt exhilarated. Every pocket of space seemed filled with workers installing electrical, heating, and cooling ducts, building new walls, patching old ones, and drilling holes in the terrazzo flooring.


They have been installing new electrical lines and, today, are filling and paving the parking lot behind the building. We have a new drain installed in the center of the lot, and downspouts on the south side of the building have been connected to the street storm sewer drain.


Orginal leaded glass windows in oak wood entry doors.

I met with Tom from The Glass Haus. We are having the windows in the entrance doors returned to the original cut glass and leaded windows, something The Glass Haus is very good at. The doors themselves are being taken down a week from this coming Monday and shipped to Oshkosh for full restoration. Craftsmen will strip the solid oak then give the doors a bleach bath, the whole nine yards. Then they will be stained a burnt amber color with coats of lacquer applied to them. This is when we hope to have the new windows installed.


A newly punched hole through the second level allows one to see

the west wall stained glass window.

Tom was impressed with the stained glass windows throughout the building and as overwhelmed by their vivid color and painted detail as I was when I first saw them. This transformation for him brought a sense of excitement and hopefulness that the building was going to be kept intact and the windows preserved. He also looked at the original light fixtures, which are currently being rewired and painted. Hopefully, we will be able to install new glass to replace the plastic panels that were in place when we removed them from the ceiling.


Change. And no change.

We’ve received more letters that speak to the fact that “no change” is a good thing. Mrs. Thielke writes:

“I just want to commend you on your reconstruction of the Grace
Presbyterian Church. In today’s so-called ‘throw-away’ society, it is a joy to see some cases of preservation. Congratulations and best wishes on your company’s decision.”

Thanks, Mrs. Thielke, for making time to remind us that our undertaking is a rewarding one, not only to us, but to the community as well.

Change, charged with emotion, is a very powerful thing—even when it’s directed at a “no-change” restoration mission.

Paul Meinke

Visit Arketype at


~ by Paul James on November 16, 2006.

5 Responses to “Change”

  1. WOW – I can’t wait to see it – will there be an “open house”?

    Wonderful website – LOVED reading the update – it reads like a novel, that you can’t wait for the next chapter.

    Kim Lardinois

  2. I too can’t wait to see the final product! :0 )
    This change with the “no – change” direction is inspiring to me- especially in this community and during this season!

  3. I can’t wait to see the end result. An open house would be awsome. Keep up the good work.

    _shawn patoka

  4. Very, very impressive! I’m so glad to see initiative like this– to keep beauty and history alive– rather than so easily disposing of it like abandoning an old car that has gone out of style. Bravo! Keep up the great work. (Now if I can only get to Green Bay to see it!)

  5. Hey, you two are remarkable. Your so creative and everything looks wonderful. Love it love it.

    Love Dyke Daddy

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