William Willet, an artist and leader in the American Gothic Movement, founded Willet Studios studio in 1898. Working with noted architect Ralph Adams Cram, William created traditional designs that rivaled the works found in the finest European Cathedrals. In 1910, William Willet was invited to compete for the large chancel window in the Cadet's Chapel at the United States Military Academy at West Point. After winning the competition, Willet Studios was selected to design and fabricate all of the stained glass windows in this large cathedral-like building. In that the cadets desired to give the window sections as class gifts, the commission lasted 66 years and became the longest continuing stained glass commission in American history.
William's son, Henry Lee Willet, took over the studio after his father's death. Under Henry Lee's guidance, the company expanded from a regional studio to a national studio, with completed projects in all 50 states and 14 foreign countries. Willet Studios experimented with new techniques, and in the 1950's, Willet Studios was one of the first American studios to design and fabricate faceted glass windows. Willet Studios also developed the famous sculptured gold window technique and experimented with different methods of laminating stained glass. Under Henry Lee's leadership, Willet Studios became known and respected throughout the stained glass world.
In 1965, E. Crosby Willet, the son of Henry Lee Willet, became the President of Willet Studios. Under his leadership, Willet windows were created for many of the major churches and cathedrals in the United States including the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and Saint Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco. He is a past President of the Stained Glass Association of America and of the American Society of Church Architecture. He is also a Professional Affiliate of the Philadelphia Chapter - American Institute of Architects, a Craft Member of the Guild for Religious Architecture, a member of the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Society of Architectural Historians and a Senior Member of the American Society of Appraisers.
In 1977, Willet Studios became a division of the
Hauser Art Glass Company. In 2005, the company changed its name to Willet Hauser Architectural Glass to more accurately reflect the long-term direction of the business.