Columbus, OH
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This was the sixth major expansion of this historic urban church just east of downtown Columbus, Ohio. Originally constructed in 1887 the additions in 1894, 1907, 1922, 1960 and 1985 selectively added or altered limited areas of the facility. This project was a comprehensive reorganization of the education, fellowship, administration, outreach and circulation spaces including 9,000 sq. ft. of additions and 64,500 sq. ft. of renovation. The project also included the painstaking restoration of the stained glass windows in the sanctuary including 28 panels originally created by the Louis Comfort Tiffany Studios.

This church is prominently located on a four-acre urban site on the edge of downtown in a neighborhood of historic homes that are slowly being restored. The building occupies the south edge of the site along East Broad Street, the major east west street through the heart of the city. Since the parking area is behind the building, new entrances were created along the north façade facing the parking area.

The massing and proportions of the new addition respond to the Romanesque architectural style of the original building and the 1894 and 1907 additions. A new Romanesque arch and barrel vaulted translucent skylight extends out into the parking area and clearly signals the new “front door” on the new addition.

As guests enter the foyer, the administration staff greets them and directs them to their destination within the facility. The foyer leads past the administrative offices into the narthex, the hub of gathering and fellowship. This narthex was created by the removal of walls and the renovation of three spaces - a conference room, corridor and reception hall. From the narthex, one can proceed on the first floor to the sanctuary, chapel, parlor and conference spaces, or to the education spaces on the floors above and below via the adjacent stairs and elevator.

The original 1887 worship hall, a two-story space with clerestory stained glass windows, had previously been divided with an intermediate floor structure and six steel columns. Prior to the renovation, the space was further divided into childcare spaces. The project renovated this space into Palmer Hall, a fellowship area named for the founding pastor, that functions for receptions and lecture series presentations.

Daylight has been restored to an interior conference room via a new hipped roof translucent skylight that replaced the formerly roofed over skylight at the base of a large central light well. New restrooms are clustered in the same location on all three floors. New childcare spaces, food pantry and social counseling offices have been created in an outreach wing with welcoming, secure and separate exterior entrances. Life safety, electrical, lighting, security and HVAC systems were replaced or upgraded throughout the building.