Epiphany 351 Update- July 2020
Epiphany 351 Update
If you have had a chance to walk by 351 E. 74th Street you will have seen that work has resumed and scaffolding is going up. While the shutdown obviously disrupted the construction schedule, barring any future Covid-10 shutdowns, the work should be completed by the end of next summer to allow the parish to move in the early fall of 2021. Of course, even in the best of times, construction schedules rarely stay on schedule. There are just too many moving parts with a project of this size.
The work currently being performed focuses on two areas. The first is demolition. Nearly the entire interior of the building is being gutted. This will ensure that the future home of the Church of the Epiphany not only complies with modern building codes, but will be fully accessible, highly energy efficient and designed to best support the life, mission and ministry of the parish for generations to come. Everything from the plumbing to wiring to fire sprinklers to heating and air conditioning is being replaced. As you can imagine with a late 19th century building, very little meets modern building codes.
For those who ask about preserving any of the historic architectural elements that one would expect in a building of this age, there were in fact very few such elements when the parish purchased the building. Most of the interior had been remodeled in the mid-20th century and any architectural elements inside were either not there originally or were lost during those renovations. However, the real architectural prize is the exterior façade. Which is the second focus of the work that is currently going on. As scaffolding is erected a team of historic façade experts will have their first opportunity to evaluate the entire façade up close and provide the parish with a comprehensive review of existing conditions and propose three levels of intervention. First, work that must be done to ensure safety and building stability. Second, work that may not be critical but is advisable, especially with contractors and scaffolding already on site. Third, work that is advisable, but could be postponed for a number of years or perhaps a decade or more.
As work progresses there will be new challenges and probably some setbacks. Such things are inevitable with any construction project. However, at the beginning of this project the Wardens and Vestry assembled an excellent team of architects and construction managers to oversee the 30+ contractors who will be working on 351 over the next 13-14 months. In the year and a half since the parish began this project, this team has demonstrated time and again their commitment to the Church of the Epiphany not only as a client, but as a Community of Faith that is committed to ensuring that those who are most vulnerable, who are most often forgotten or left behind, or who have few if any resources that they can call on have a place where they are welcomed, cared for, and offered the love of Christ.
In the words of St. Paul, “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil 1:6