June 11, 2012
BALTIMORE (WJZ)— We’re just a couple of days away from the start of one of the biggest events in Baltimore history. Sailabration will mark the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
Let the Sailabration begin.
Lillian Crowley is showing her pride with her 6,000 piece glass mosaic of the 15-star American flag.
“We’re celebrating Baltimore. The tall ships are coming in and I wanted to do something to show my pride for Baltimore. The Star-Spangled Banner was written here, the flag was made here. I said, ‘What could I do to do something patriotic?’ and of course it’s the flag,” she said.
Customers are stopping outside their store, Lombard Hardware, a Fells Point landmark, to take pictures. Crowley’s other works are beautiful. This one is too.
“Customers asked, ‘Why are you doing that?’ and I said ‘Well, Baltimore is having a big celebration. We’re celebrating the flag and the War of 1812, and I wanted to show my pride in our city,’” Lillian Crowley said. “I’m so proud Baltimore is being showcased this way. All the good things we do here, I love it.”
Her husband Ken Crowley, known for his stained glass work, got the ball rolling with his own flag.
“I decided I wanted to make a stained glass flag. It has 15 stars, 15 stripes, so I put this together. Lillian saw it and said ‘It’s beautiful,’ but I want to make a bigger one. So she made a 36×54 mosaic. It has almost 6,000 pieces. It was a big project and it turned out beautiful,” Ken Crowley said.
“I wanted to make it big. I worked on it for about three weeks straight. My husband makes stained glass, so I took all of his scrap glass from other projects and cut it into the little pieces. I started gluing all the glass in place. I took my time. I wanted to make it look as nice as it could,” Lillian Crowley said.
Just a few days ago the big flag mosaic went up on the side of the building. You can see it driving down East Lombard Street.
“The store has been here since 1891. I have been here since 1980. We do just about everything. It’s an old-fashioned neighborhood hardware store,” Ken Crowley said