June 12 Update on Progress at 351 E 74th Street
Last Sunday, on Pentecost, the congregation of Jan Hus Presbyterian Church held their final service at 351 East 74th Street after approximately 131 years. The people of Epiphany were blessed to be able to spend a bit of time with them celebrating the astounding ways in which God is leading both congregations into future mission, ministry, and service, all while praising God’s goodness in worship, song, and thanksgiving. I, for one, was thrilled to hear Larry Long and our choir sing of God’s glory for the first time in what will be, by May 2021, our new home.
During the summer we are working closely with our architects Acheson Doyle and our construction management team Shawmut to be ready to start work in September. Interior demolition first. Reconstruction second along with façade restoration. There is an immense amount of detail associated with this project, however here is what has been going on this week.
First, and most critically before we can move forward, is the hazardous material testing. This means taking samples throughout the building for lead paint and asbestos. This testing began this week. Also this week the acoustician begins acoustical testing in the nave and sanctuary, the parish hall, and the gym. Larry Long, one of our architects, and I will be meeting with our acoustician and his team this week to discuss the best ways to make sure our music and our voices are clearly heard and communicated throughout each of these spaces.
Coming soon will be boring and text pits in the cellar to prepare for the elevator shafts. Two elevators and a dumb waiter will be installed, making the parish house and church fully accessible – from cellar to roof!
Lastly, while the Jan Hus congregation and their ministries will be moving out by the end of this month, the Iken Science Academy and the Carter Burden lunch program will continue into August. By September 1 Epiphany will have full access to the building and all our summer planning and work will result in the first physical steps to transform Jan Hus Presbyterian Church into the new, much expanded home of the Church of the Epiphany. Remember to keep this God-ordained project in your prayers that the work we do may bring praise, honor, and glory to God’s name and health and life and peace to all whom God calls us to serve--all who come seeking that which the world cannot give.