Before and After: The Restoration of St. Mary's, German Village, in Columbus, Ohio

I wanted to share a little bit of the work coming out of Meleca Architects, namely the restoration of the church of St. Mary's, German Village, in Columbus, Ohio. You can see from this view below that, first off, the high altar has been restored. In the 'before' arrangement, the reredos essentially became a converted 'sacrament tower' of sorts, having been converted into a backdrop for the tabernacle while the altar itself was removed and a new freestanding altar in table form was brought out into the sanctuary. In the restored arrangement, you can see that the high altar has been reunited with its reredos -- making for a much cleaner, simpler and nobler design I would add.

Left: Before. Right: After. 
Here's another view of the altar in the 'before' arrangement:

And here another view of the 'after' in the restored arrangement:

Our readers will no doubt also note the reintroduction of a simple altar rail, and the restoration of the sedilia for the clergy to its traditional place, leaving a clean line of sight to the altar and its tabernacle.

Outside of the work done to the altar, a great deal of restoration work was also done to the decorative painting found in the church. Here's a comparison:

Left: Before. Right: After.
You can see how much brighter the new painted work is and what's more, new stencilling has also been added around the images to either side of the high altar.  Here is a closer look that was taken during the construction phase, but nearing completion.

Also restored is the traditional pulpit (which had been modified into a glorified baptismal font 'cover' in the 'before' arrangement). Traditionally designed light fixtures in a gothic style have also been added -- which meshes better with the rest of the interior.

I have mentioned before the power that details like stencilling can have. Sometimes this is thought of as a 'frill' but in actuality, it can form an important aspect of a fully furnished piece of architecture. Here is a good view of some of the new painted work in St. Mary's.

A well executed restoration that has returned the traditional liturgical ordering of this splendid bit of American gothic revival.

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