Cape May, New Jersey, is home to hundreds of stained glass
windows in unexpected places around town. Guests can admire beautiful and
tastefully designed window art, especially nouveau pieces from the famous Louis
Comfort Tiffany found in several houses. Guests are advised to swing by Our
Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church on Washington Street and First
Presbyterian Church on Hughes and Decatur to admire the city’s most beautiful
stained glass art. Both churches display windows that date back a hundred years
and are still remarkably well preserved.
Take a walk through historic neighborhoods in Cape May to see
stained glass art displayed from bed and breakfast inns, private homes and
business establishments. Guests will notice the continuous theme of royal blue,
ruby red and emerald green as traditional colors for the stained glass. Nearly
all of the stained glass in Cape May is decades old (with a few reproductions).
After dark, guests can continue their strolls in the same
neighborhood and marvel at the colorful lights reflecting from the glass,
casting kaleidoscope-like shadows.
The famous sayings, “in the red” and “in the black” stems from
several folktales told by locals in Cape May. One of the more popular stories explains that years ago, families had their doors painted
red as a message that they had a mortgage on their house. Those with black
doors owned their properties. But today, colors of doors in Cape May only
represents the owner’s personal taste and decorating choices.
Take a walk along historic Hughes street and study the string
of unique entrances of Victorian homes, cottages and mansions. Most porches are
outfitted with beautiful vintage furniture like rocking chairs and hammocks.
Look for the Memucan Hughes house to see the most intricately and eye-catching
detailed doors, frames, stained glass, woodwork and exterior.
Cape May is known for having vibrant houses in Victorian or
craftsman style. Residents of the city are not shy of using bold colors when
painting their homes. Guests may find porches painted sky blue or window frames
dyed leafy green. During summers, colorful flowers compliment the exteriors of
the seaside houses.
It’s important to check out or stay overnight at the famous and
Hotel that is a block from the Atlantic Ocean. At the hotel, guests
can enjoy its two-story wraparound porches loaded with rocking chairs, making
it a perfect place to read or relax by the sea.
Visitors can further their learning experience of the architectural
history of Cape May by attending East Lynne Theater’s “Tales of the
Victorians,” where professional actors read short stories about Cape May and
its contribution to the beauty of the city.