Architect: Frank Shirley Architects
Contractor: GF Rhode Construction
Engineer: SJG Engineering
Photos: Randy O'Rourke
The sanctuary of Christ Church is an important National Historic Landmark for the city of Cambridge. As the building approached its quarter of a millennium anniversary, its congregation sought to properly restore the exterior and renovate the chancel.
Within the sanctuary the chancel was a collection of piecemeal renovations that left the heart of the church disorganized. We re-established the chancel as the spiritual center of the church; services now process gracefully. We studied precedents to ensure the renovated area fit seamlessly with the historic fabric of the church. Accessibility improvements include a mechanical lift that is tucked behind the altar platform. The lift’s guardrails are glass to minimize visibility.
At the exterior we established a protocol for refinishing the old boards that would preserve them and offer prolonged periods between maintenance. Where needed, new boards were carefully interlaced with old. The building had been showing aging wrinkles across its face, but it now looks youthful. With the renovation of the interior and the restoration of the exterior, this historic landmark is poised to welcome guests for generations to come.
Winner of 2014 Bulfinch Award: Civic/Ecclesiastic
Winner of 2014 Faith & Form Award: Renovation
Winner of 2013 Restoration Award by Cambridge Historical Commission