Restoration and Renovation
Renovation of the Parlor
Originally this space was called the "Ladiesí Parlor," meant for meetings, wedding receptions, parties etc., and was furnished in high Victorian style like a living room. Today, the space was needed as a flexible modern meeting space: a media room for viewing TV & movies; a comfortable place for children, for example, to gather on a carpeted floor to hear stories; an added space for parties and receptions to the Fellowship Hall next door, etc. So the Parlor today had to fulfill all these functions but be maintained as a Historic gem within Pilgrim Church.
The woodwork in the Parlor - a combination of oak and beech wood - had originally been the one room in the whole church complex that was stained a dark mahogany color. Over the years a good-intentioned attempt to improve the finish caused the woodwork to darken to almost black, and because it was an new oil-based finish on top of the original shellac finish, to make it crazed & dull. Through a huge, heroic effort, all the woodwork was stripped down to bare wood; patches where pieces were missing were made; and repairs to the sliding door system were made.
The plaster walls were left with the current textured finish, which is not original, & painted. Special wallpaper was custom-printed by a California wallpaper company, Bradbury & Bradbury, called "Adelphi Frieze." The pattern was chosen because of the dove image and baskets of flowers being appropriate to the room and church, as well as historically correct for what could have been in the space.
Along with re-wiring the room, new light fixtures where made by a company that specializes in historic fixtures that have the look of gas/electric combination lighting that was throughout Pilgrim's building.
Window valances where made by the church members, and light block-out shades were added to the leaded windows so movies could be viewed. Modern office furniture was added to the few antiques original to the room. Finally, modern carpet imitating the original wall-to-wall carpet that the Parlor originally had, as well as new tile for the fireplace surround completed the room.
The Fellowship Hall needed to function as a modern, large meeting hall; dining and party room; dance hall; play room; and lecture hall.
The Fellowship Hall was completely rewired so you could enter the space from the central hallway or the new, yet-to-be-built elevator building and have light control from either end of the room. Ceiling fans and recessed lights were added to give a mood lighting, but historically possible lighting and ventilation as well.
An air conditioning duct was built around the room, and while this construction was going on, the church's congregation started another stencil/hand-painted project on blank wallpaper for the decorative frieze that runs on the air handling duct. Hundreds of hours by many dedicated people went into this project, which added a Victorian mood to the space.
The design of the frieze, while modern, was based on the veining, circular decorative elements that appear throughout the building, but was also influenced by the work of William Morris of Victorian England (a Victorian period designer) & Ruskin (a 19th century philosopher of art & design) who influenced both the period as well as the total design of Pilgrim Church in 1893. This work was accomplished & directed by Architectural Historian & Interior Designer, Dale H. Smith.
The walls of the Fellowship Hall where totally re-plastered with new drywall. Vinyl wall covering for durability was chosen for the space, and all woodwork was stripped and stained to the original golden oak color. Additionally, new, modern vinyl Tarkett flooring was installed, and a small platform was built for speakers/presentations.
The church hired commercial kitchen to help with the many code permits for food handling and safety that the city of Cleveland required, along with, R. Van Petten Architects. All new appliances where added with the exception of the steam generated dishwasher which was reusable. New wiring and circuit breakers were installed, as well as new lighting; modern sinks; and safe storage for food and dishes. All new floor joists replaced the floor structure, and modern wall finishes for commercial kitchens were installed, plus a drop ceiling.
Elevator / Parking Lot Entrance Addition
In 2005, consistent with Pilgrimís mission and covenant, the congregation decided that the church needed an elevator, as well as a handicapped-accessible bathroom on the sanctuary level. Richard Van Petten was chosen as the architect to design a building for the corner of where the gymnasium and church building come together.
In designing the new building, extreme care was taken to preserve the historic nature of the buildings. Combining the various building materials, and choosing a modern, but compatible brick was very important; as was covering over the seam between the two earlier buildings and providing all the functions that needed to happen with in this new space, such as ramps, elevator, bathroom, accessible entrances, fire stairways, and solving complicated level problems between the gym & church building, as well as taking away as few parking spaces as possible.
In order to get people around or through the old Sunday school / theater space, a hallway was built through the three offices (formerly Sunday school rooms) that were under the balcony of the theater space. This allowed for almost all of the original woodwork in the office spaces to be untouched or changed and to get people from the elevator to the main sanctuary even if an event was going on in the theater space or meetings in the various offices or Pastors Study with no disturbance. Also, several small ramps and railings where installed in the church building allowing wheelchairs to easily get from the parking lot/elevator to the sanctuary.