Above is the south aisle rose window tracery, back in place and awaiting its glass. This photo was taken in early April of 2011. When Easter came around later in the month, all the glass was installed and the scaffolding in the north and south chancel aisles was down, allowing us to celebrate the greatest day of the Christian year free and clear of construction debris.
PHOTOS FROM OCTOBER 2011:
Since the summer of 2011 the chancel and sanctuary (the areas including the choir stalls and high altar) have been under scaffolding. Nine stained glass windows, including the Te Deum window that rises above the altar, have been removed so that all the glass can be cleaned and restored, and much of the marble tracery (the stone supports that hold the panels of glass) can be recarved and replaced with limestone. Also the plaster ceiling and walls are being stripped of 170 years of paint, repaired, strengthened, and repainted to match the newly restored south transept. The project is proceeding according to schedule. The scaffolding should recede back to the communion rail giving us enough space to celebrate Christmas, and then disappear entirely by March of 2012.
This photo is of the northwest clerestory window above the lectern in the chancel. The glass is nearly all back in place. Note the newly carved limestone tracery that should last hundreds of years.
Above is the southwest clerestory window, completely restored and back in place. Next comes the plaster work all around it.
This view shows the chancel ceiling, looking west, some 60-feet above the choir stalls. The circular holes are where outdated light fixtures have been removed. Part of the project includes the installation of an updated lighting system that is more flexible and highlights the architecture.
Meanwhile, at the workshop of Taylor and Boody Organ Builders in Staunton, VA, work proceeds on Grace Church’s Bicentennial Organ that will be installed starting in the summer of 2012. The above photo shows one of two oak cases that will face each other in the chancel, and house some of the 5,000 pipes.
Photos from November 2011
This view is inside the attic, above the chancel ceiling, where the work to strengthen the plaster vault has been completed.
In the attic, looking down on the ceiling. The gray stripes between the timber are the new “keys” locking the plaster ceiling to the wooden lathe.
This photo of a restored and reinstalled stained glass window is taken from a catwalk outside the south clerestory level of the chancel. Note the dangling feet of two crew members carefully going about their work.
The underside of the chancel ceiling, having received its first coat of paint, looking west. Compare this photo with the same shot taken in October.
Looking north, across the chancel, now halfway down the scaffolding. We are on schedule for most of the scaffolding to be down in time for Christmas. The pageant is a go, and the choir will be back in place for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, and the midnight Eucharist.
A worker cleans the stone around the opening where the Te Deum window belongs, high above the altar at the very east end of the church. This area of the church will be completed after Christmas, and completely open in time for Easter of 2012.
December 2012 update:
Above is a view of the chancel and sanctuary looking east on December 13, 2011. The chancel scaffolding is down and the choir pews will soon be back in place.
One of 14 light pendants that hang in the nave and transepts has been removed and restored. When it returns to Grace Church it will provide a stark contrast between what we have done, and what we have left undone.