On Christmas Eve the Sacristy at Calvary Church re-opened and a collective sigh of relief was heard by everyone that the construction was completed in time! The pictures above, taken with my phone, do not do the space justice, but for now they will have to suffice. Shortly, I will launch my new website where you will be able to see the space through the lens of a professional photographer. His photographs do a beautiful job of illustrating the tremendous transformation of the space, so please check back once the site is launched.
In an earlier post I mentioned that the goal for the project was to create a space that would be used by the altar guild to prepare for church services, while at the same time serving as a place for the minister to store his vestments and prepare himself for church services. The minister’s vision was for the Sacristy to have the feel of a men’s dressing room — not an easy feat when you are charged with placing two sinks and a faucet! To that end, the cabinetry underneath the stained glass window was designed to resemble a campaign chest, with recessed pulls and corner straps to evoke a fine piece of furniture similar to what historically would be found in a dressing room.
Part of my responsibility was to preserve the integrity of this church, which was built more than 100 years ago. If you look closely, you’ll notice that a Celtic cross is carved into the upper cabinet doors. This image is repeated throughout the church and is a part of its history. In addition, the bannister which leads from the altar into the Sacristy was re-built, and its design is an exact replica of the original bannister across the church. Much thought was put into this effort to preserve the architecture of this exceptionally beautiful church, and details such as the Celtic cross and handrail are among many examples of this effort.
Once my new website is up and running, I will post photos of the Sacristy that are far superior to those taken with my phone. For now, these will have to do!
Progress continues at Calvary Church, and happily we are on target to re-open the Sacristy and South Ambulatory for Christmas Eve. The painters have been busy at work staining all of the woodwork and patching and painting all of the plaster walls. We had a slight detour last week after Mother Nature unleashed both snow and heavy rain on the roof, resulting in a leak into the powder room. Thanks to the efforts of the painters and roofers, the leak has been repaired and the ceiling replaced — happily we remain on schedule for our big reveal in just a few short weeks.
A decision was made to re-finish the floors, which were in horrible shape, so now the area is closed off to all foot traffic so that necessary repairs and prep can be done. With a heavy dose of sanding, some new stain and a few coats of polyurethane, the floors will be spectacular!
Work continues at a fevered pace, and we are all excited for the project to be completed so that everyone can see the transformation. Stay tuned for the big reveal!
Progress on the Calvary Church project continues to move along at a great pace. Coordinating all of the subcontractors and city inspectors requires careful planning and great patience since certain tasks can’t be started until others are completed. To date, demolition is complete, electrical and plumbing work has begun and the cabinets have arrived.
What’s particularly exciting about this job is that our custom cabinets have been designed with a celtic cross detail carved into the doors that matches exactly to a detail found on many pews in the church. Preserving the integrity of the church’s beautiful architectural features and overall design aesthetic is an integral part of my job, and this detail is just one example of how we are achieving that goal.
Construction is often a tedious process which requires a tremendous attention to detail. Throughout the duration of a project many decisions have to be made, and sometimes it’s tough to know the right answer. What’s important to know is that often times there are multiple ways to solve a problem. For example, if a subcontractor tells you that what you have requested can’t be done, and you don’t like the solution that’s been offered, it’s always a good idea to ask for an alternative. You’d be surprised to learn that many times there are multiple solutions — you simply have to ask, and sometimes you even have to stand your ground until a better solution can be considered. In this particular situation, wiring for the electrical fixtures was extremely complicated since the walls of the church are almost two feet thick and made of stone and plaster. As a result, most of the wiring can’t be located behind the walls, so many fixtures in the church are surface-mounted. One of the greatest challenges was in trying to install the switches for the light fixtures in an accessible location. Luckily, with the help of a skilled electrician we were able to layout the fixtures and their switches in a way that not only would satisfy the occupants of the room but also wouldn’t make it necessary to cut into my cabinets in order to do so!
We have a tight timeline that we’re following so that this space is ready for use within the next several weeks. Follow along as progress continues (and the pictures get better!).