Fr. Harding’s acceptance, Lucy G. Moses Award for excellence in historic preservation from the New York Landmarks Conservancy
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Chelsea – 346 West 20th Street, Manhattan
St. Peter’s Church opened in 1836, on land that writer Clement Clarke Moore conveyed to the vestry. Moore’s family owned much of the land that became Chelsea, and he served as a church Warden for many years. St. Peter’s was one of the earliest English-parish Country Gothic churches in the U.S., and inspired builders of many other religious properties.
By the late 20th century, the charming stone building faced major challenges: a deteriorating structure and a dwindling congregation with limited resources. A 1990s conditions survey led to restoration of the clock tower and recommended roof replacement, but the Church could not afford it. The failing roof allowed leaks to infiltrate the walls and interior for nearly 25 years.
Facing a crisis, energetic new leadership initiated a successful campaign to fund urgent rebuilding of corner piers above the roof. This work involved numbering all stones and documenting their location, before disassembly. The rebuilding installed internal stainless steel rods to tie stones together. And finally, the aged roof and drainage system were replaced. With the building envelope secured, the vestry can now take on work to restore the historic interior.
The Church of St. Peter’s, Chelsea - Reverend Stephen Harding
Old Structures Engineering PC - Marie Ennis
Plan B Engineering - John McErlean
Seaboard Weatherproofing & Restoration - Jack Slowik
West New York Restoration - Kevin Crawford
William Stivale, Building Conservator - William Stivale
FR. HARDING'S ACCEPTANCE:
I would like to thank the New York Landmarks Conservancy for this award and for your support of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Chelsea over so many years. It really does mean a great deal to us.
This has been a team effort, and we would not have received this award without each one of our donors, the Diocese of New York, William Stivale, our Building Conservator and Marie Ennis, our Engineer who nominated us for the award, the craftsmen and construction companies who did the work, our Vestry, our parishioners, our staff, Chelsea Community Church, and our neighbors.
This award is wonderful. But we’re not done yet. I will use this award as inspiration to keep going.
On behalf of all the people that use St. Peter’s and the Rectory, I thank each one of you for your participation and for your support of the restoration of St. Peter’s.
Thank you so much.
The Reverend Stephen Harding
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
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