Behind the Scenes with Architect Lee Skolnick
We hope to bring you a word from our architect, Lee Skolnick of Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, on the progress we're making with the Church. Here's his first statement, and a rendering recently presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals, below. We will keep you updated as the project progresses!
While we have made significant progress in defining the form of our outdoor space through the creation of our side yard garden and gathering area’s grading and stone retaining walls, most of our progress has been hidden from view. The many elements of infrastructure – sprinklers, power, ductwork, etc. – have been carefully threaded through the site and building to preserve its architectural and natural integrity. In fact, these many interventions have been proceeding at warp speed and we are thrilled by the cooperative and collaborative spirit and performance of our contractor, Moises Cerdas, and his skilled and dedicated subcontractors.
In addition, the interior space of the building is really taking shape, and it is spectacular! The full experience of the generous volumes are now clearly evident, the proportions and quality of light are fully perceivable, and the delicate counterpoint of the metal stairways is becoming manifest as I write this.
The concrete slab that will form the floor of the studio spaces is about to be poured, giving full expression to the quality of that critical programmatic space. Next up: the laying of the natural wood flooring in the main and mezzanine levels and the finishing of the interior walls.
Exciting! Stay tuned...
– Lee Skolnick, October, 2019
View of the interior from the mezzanine level, looking towards Madison Street
The new stone terrace on the South side of The Church
Most (though not all) of the exterior revelations have occurred, although the front entry steps and doors and the stained-glass transom are coming soon.
But by far the most awe-inspiring event has been the opening up of the large sanctuary space by the removal of the second floor structure. The impact of this bright and airy volume is truly phenomenal and hints at the amazing place that is coming into being. Of special note are the twenty-foot-high divided light windows all along the south façade, now completely unobstructed in their vertical majesty.
Additional progress is being made in the framing out of the walls of the residential wing, the initiation of the heating and air conditioning installation and the final detailing of the glass elevator enclosure.
So much excitement and so much more to come!
– Lee Skolnick, July, 2019
We are thrilled to be close to completing the "closing in” of the building, including roofing, siding, trim and windows. This major step goes a long way to protecting the structure and finally puts an end to the unfinished look that has characterized the property for several years. Of special note is the restoration of the distinctive architectural details that are of tremendous historic and aesthetic value.
Next up: infrastructure (power, water, septic, sprinklers) and the interior framing of the partitions that will define the spaces inside the building.
– Lee Skolnick, December, 2018
With the promise of Spring comes some wonderful progress on the construction site. Based on our ARB approval, we have been able to come very near completion on the exterior of the building.
Of course, the most dramatic change is the installation of almost all of the windows. In addition to creating a welcome respite from the look of abandonment from which the Church has suffered for years, the invitation of glorious natural light into the hitherto dark interior is nothing short of a revelation. And from the outside, the delicate mullion and muntin pattern revives the critical relationship of this juxtaposition to the austere mass of the crisply clapboarded building.
Another dramatic change has been the re-building of the decorative front entry surround to its former glory.
Just recently, the belfry shutters have been installed and we look forward to re-situating the historic church bell in its rightful location.
Next up: the historic front entry doors, original stained glass transom window, and the construction of the front entry steps.
– Lee Skolnick, April 2019
Top: most windows installed, Photo credit: April Gornik
Bottom left: window installation interior, Photo credit: Lee Skolnick
Bottom right: window installation exterior, Photo credit: Lee Skolnick