Before and After: St. Mary's Church, Norwalk, Connecticut

We are pleased to share another 'before and after' today, this time coming from the firm of Duncan G. Stroik Architect and St. Mary's Church in Norwalk, CT.   Here is what Stroik's firm says about the project:
"The renovation of the sanctuary of Saint Mary Church in Norwalk, Connecticut took place in a multi-phase project. The main elements of the renovation include a marble sanctuary, altar rail, and ambo. The marble side altars are reconstructed, and decorative painting is complete in the sanctuary and the nave of the church. The final phase provided a new high altar reredos that serves as the frame for a new painting of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Leonard Porter.
In addition to Leonard Porter Studios, whose excellent work will already be familiar to many readers, John Canning Studios also executed the decorative painting and stencilling. One can see what a difference some well placed colour makes in a church. The previous church, while reasonably handsome insofar as its basic components were concerned, pales (quite literally) in comparison to the renovated church with its reredos, stencilling and colourful ceiling.

But enough talk. Let's take a look:


The basic architectural bones were significantly there to build upon, but conspicuous by its absence is most any colour outside of browns and beiges. What's more, one can tell that the original sanctuary, windowless as it is, was built reredos in mind -- a point emphasized all the more by the uniformly flat colour that had taken it place. The speakers hung from the ceiling were also rather unsightly.


A new springtime.
The after photo is striking by comparison. I am put to mind of a comparison between this and the transformation of the humble caterpillar which morphs and, emerging from its chrysalis, is transformed into a beautifully coloured butterfly.  This is the only comparison I can think of, and I think ti is an apt one.

In addition to the colour components and reredos, you will also note that a rood beam has been installed up high and an altar rail down below. The new ambo is also much more prominent and better proportioned to the whole.

Here are a few more details for your enjoyment:

Assumption by Leonard Porter Studios
Detail of the reredos
Detail of ceiling and stencilling by John Canning Studios
Detail of "Maria Regina" stencilling by John Canning Studios

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