Lucy Moses Award: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

The church, completed circa 1837, was the first of the English-parish-style Gothic churches built in this country, and guided builders of other churches in this style. The land for the church was donated by Clement Clarke Moore, best known for his poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” and St. Peter’s was the center of the community through the nineteenth century. The random ashlar masonry is comprised of Manhattan Schist blocks set in a lime based mortar; weathering stones, entry steps, and other features are dressed granite.

Old Structures Engineering was brought in by the building conservator, to prepare structural repair documents for a phased renovation of the building, which had not had been maintained in nearly thirty years. The new church Pastor recognized the woeful conditions and was able to solicit a significant donation to begin work.

The initial phase addressed unsafe conditions at the four corner piers through disassembly and relaying of stones with stainless steel reinforcement. The next phase of work was to repair and replace the roof, which required deep grouting of the upper walls, replacement of rotted timber sills, repair to damaged timber truss ends, and leveling/reinforcing sagging roof rafters. The tin roof was replaced with a standing seam aluminum in a color matched to original fabric remnants. Unsafe plaster was removed and debris netting installed throughout the sanctuary to allow for use of the building until the funds are raised to address the elaborate, vaulted plaster ceiling.

I was the Principal-in-Charge, Gabriel Pardo Redondo was the Project Lead Engineer.

Project Planner & Owner’s Representative: William J. Stivale

Piers Masonry Contractor: West New York Restoration

Roof Contractor: Seaboard Waterproofing

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