Throughout Alton, there are spaces bursting with history waiting to be learned, dwellings with a story waiting to be told, homes with a haunting waiting to be experienced, even places with some charm waiting to be discovered.
The latter describes 412 E. Broadway, the Alton Stained Glass Works and Tiffany Inn.
The Alton Stained Glass Works is a quaint location owned by Lynne Ulett. The shop was established in 1993 and features products created within the store, lining the walls. There are smaller pieces of stained glass on display one could use for decoration within the home, along with stained glass jewelry.
Lampshades Ulett created are utilized, along with various pieces of stained glass projects and even a piece of artwork she did with collected pieces of broken bottles.
“I love to turn trash into treasure,” says Ulett, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. “This was a hobby I turned into a career.”
There is more than meets the eye to the little shop. Along with the various stained glass pieces for sale and on display within the shop, Ulett also teaches trade classes on the art of stained glass.
“There’s a broad spectrum for the age groups,” Ulett says. “It’s really people that have free time during the day. I’ve had people as young as 9 and as old as 85 take the classes. Most are women, but we do get men, too. It is a man’s trade that women are getting into. I think women are more patient with it though and are taking it over.”
Along with each class, Ulett offers a bottle of wine within the $39 price. She tries to cater to everyone in the shop’s café by also offering craft beer, root beer, coffee and tea.
“Every Thursday, I get scones from the First Stop Bake Shop and I recently started selling BunkHouse Joe coffee,” Ulett says. “While I do have limited food here, I don’t oppose to people bringing their own.”
Stained glass is not all Ulett offers within her building. Above the Alton Stained Glass Works resides the Tiffany Inn featuring three rooms, two of which are designed as an homage to artists Claude Monet and Pierre Auguste Renoir. The third room is the Garden Room, the smallest and coziest room in the inn. To the left of the building is a beautiful Venetian walkway that leads to a private garden courtyard with a view of the river, open to the public. The inn also features a small dining area where guests can mingle if they wish to or just to relax outside of their rooms.
While the building may seem small, the services it offers are anything but.
“People are always welcome here, whether it be a group gathering and just someone wanting to come in and relax,” Ulett says.
For information, visit www.altonartglass.com.