Aggie, your problem is very common with settings that have a great contrast range and testing has not been done for this type of situations. When you take this kind of pictures if the develpement is not right on. As you experienced the highlights get grossly overdeveloped and infectious development occurs.
There is nothing outside of testing that will help you for this. I am guessing you needed something like N-3 or so to render the window correctly. So next time you might want to try lowering your EI to half or even 2/3 less and dvelop for 40% less time. IOW, if you use an EI of 400, lower it to 200 or 120 and develop for 40% less. What this does is record the shadows and gives less time for the developer to act on the highlights.
The best way I have seen this done is by the BTZS method. Dick Arentz in his book has many prints made of negatives with extreme contrast range and this is the method he uses. I have been succesful in a couple of situations similar to yours using this method. OTOH, I kind of like the "halo" effect......good luck, hope this helps.