The original plans for Holy Trinity, above, specified a sanctuary to seat 500. It had wide side aisles, a side baptistry open to the nave, and tall windows. The cost of construction was originally estimated to be $275,000, but when bids came in at $320,000, the plans were redrawn for a narrower church, which lowered the roofline, shortened the windows, narrowed the side aisles, and eliminated some finishes, such as stone floors. The final cost of the building was $235,000, the equivalent of about $2.5 million today.
The last century
At the start of World War I, Holy Trinity was a vibrant parish worshipping in a sanctuary on Elm Street. War support efforts made clear the need for a Parish Hall and Sunday School building, and in 1918, famed architect Hobart Upjohn of New York was hired to design the building for a lot on the corner of Fisher Avenue and what is now Greene Street.
The Parish Hall was completed in 1922. The building’s first floor assembly hall is now All Saints’ Chapel and the classrooms and kitchen in the basement are now Broome Hall. Parishioners worshipped in the Elm Street sanctuary until 1930, when the Parish Hall became the entire church facility.
In 1947, the parish began planning a permanent church building. Using the pattern set by Hobart Upjohn, the well-known firm of Cram and Ferguson of Boston worked with local designer Albert Woodroof to draw a new sanctuary. Initial plans called for a 500-seat building, but when bids came in high and fundraising hit a limit, the width of the building was reduced and interior finishes were changed to less expensive options. Construction began in spring of 1949 and the first service was Easter Day 1950.
The Rt. Rev. Edwin A. Penick turned the first shovelful of dirt for the current Sanctuary on March 23, 1949. Here, the cornerstone is dedicated on June 19, 1949. Bishop Penick was assisted by Rector Robert Cox. The original 1922 building is in the background.
The current Parish House, above, in the 1960s, was approved at a parish supper meeting on Sept. 26, 1960. It was designed to tie in to the south end of the Chapel. The estimated cost was $251,000, but small changes, like the addition of a fireplace in Roe Library, bought the cost to $277,496. A capital campaign in the early 1990s added stone to the exterior and a campaign in 2017 renovated the inside.
Our current Parish House was built in 1963. A campaign in the early 1990s refaced that building with stone, addressed deferred maintenance, solved water issues in the undercroft, enhanced accessibility with new covered walkways and an elevator, and added the Columbarium. The 2017 Capital Gifts Initiative focused almost exclusively on the Parish House, raising funds to update the interior, improve energy efficiency, and build a covered terrace. Funds also extended the covered walkway to the Sanctuary and added parking and landscaping.
The next century
Past capital campaigns funded beautiful additions and renovations and addressed maintenance as fundraising allowed. Over the years, attempts have been made to stop leaks in the sanctuary, including repointing mortar and sealing the stone with silicone in the late 1990s and waterproofing the stone in 2014. However, on a campus of Holy Trinity’s age and complexity, repairs done incompletely lead to continued deterioration. The leaks and damage have worsened in the last few years and are apparent in the sanctuary on the altar wall, in both corners of the balcony, in both sacristies, and in the organ alcove, and in Worth Parlor in the 1922 building. In 2020, an engineering firm hired by the Vestry found that leaks are originating around the chimney in the 1922 building and at all coping and flashing systems of the parapets (the short, vertical walls that run the roof line of the building) on the 1949 sanctuary. Some immediate roofing repair on the sanctuary was done to prolong the life of the roof, but more work remains.
Damage in the 1949 Sanctuary building is evident in, left to right, the acolyte robing room off the balcony, the flower sacristy, and, above, on the altar wall.