WHAT’S IN THE WORKS WITH OUR BUILDINGS?
Those of you who have been at church this summer have witnessed a beehive of construction activity at the corner of Beacon Street and Dean Road. The town park behind the church is being substantially renovated and both the All Saints sanctuary and our rectory next door have been undergoing significant work. The number of construction vehicles and work trucks in the area on weekdays has been truly impressive, to the delight of neighborhood children who are at an age to be obsessed with construction work!
The sanctuary repairs were necessitated by the persistent leaks we have experienced due to the conditions of the exterior walls, roofs and gutters on the Beacon Street (north) and Dean Road (east) sides of the church. By the end of September, the exterior repair work should be complete and the scaffolding removed. On the inside of the sanctuary, signs of water damage on the east walls will have been patched and repaired. However the north-facing interior plaster wall was beyond repair due to extensive water damage. Thus, for at least the near term, the Beacon Street plaster wall has been removed altogether and the exposed unfinished wall will be painted white to match the plaster walls.
Since the sanctuary was built over a century ago, in many ways the uncovering of unforeseen problems during repair work was to be expected. The most significant “surprise” was the extent of rot in the wood frame surrounding the Beacon Street window. This window was installed in 1899 as a “temporary” window, with wood trim and mullions and single-color brown glass. No benefactor has ever emerged to underwrite the installation of an art glass window in this location and the temporary window has lasted 115 years with only minimal wood repairs and painting. At this point, however, the wood frame has turned out to be so badly deteriorated that the entire perimeter requires replacing. In addition, the interior leaded glass was buckling badly and requires total releading (a state of affairs made obvious by the fact that several panes blew out during Hurricane Sandy in 2012). Since the church still has no plan or funds for a new art design for this window, the decision was made to relead the existing diamond pane lead framework, with the inclusion of a random field of multi-colored glass, to make this window more consistent with the high clerestory windows which were designed years ago by the renowned Connick Studio.
This releading work will take several months and until then the window opening will be covered with plywood. In order to protect the wood frame and glass from the elements going forward, a protective glass frame will be installed on the exterior of this Beacon Street window, which is particularly vulnerable to storms from the northeast.
Meanwhile, next door at the Rectory, what has been for a century a large single family home is being converted into a 4 unit building, which preserves a substantial unit for the rector’s family and creates 3 residential apartments as well. This work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.
For our church to be making these investments in our property is an act of faith and praise. As the stone above the Beacon Street door reads: “All thy works shall praise thee O Lord and all thy saints shall bless thee!”
Roberta Schnoor, Senior Warden and Wendy Wheeler, Junior Warden