Despite little change in the external appearance of the church since scaffolding was installed and the church was shrink-wrapped in November 2012, much work has been going on behind the scenes in the past six months. We’re delighted to bring you an update on our rebuilding plans for the church.
We are delighted to be working with The Bay Architects and Plath & Company General Contractors on the rebuilding and restoration project. The Bay Architects is a Berkeley architectural firm established in 1980 by James Novosel to serve residential, commercial and institutional clients in the East Bay. Plath & Company General Contractors, based in San Rafael, has been dedicated to the art of fine residential and commercial construction and renovation in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1976.
The City of Berkeley has agreed to let us divide the rebuilding and restoration project began into three phases: first, fire damage mitigation/demolition, second, restoration of the sanctuary, and third, rebuilding of the sacristy on the north side of the church. We expect that dividing the project into three phases will greatly shorten the rebuilding and restoration process.
The first phase of the project, fire damage mitigation/demolition, began on April 22, 2013 and is expected to take six weeks. The sacristy, where the fire started, will be completely demolished, and the interior of the sanctuary, which was badly damaged by fire, smoke and water, will be stripped. The stained glass windows will be removed for repair, where possible, or recreation, where necessary.
The Bay Architects are preparing to file a sanctuary repair building permit application with the City of Berkeley in late May. We hope that the work of repairing and restoring the sanctuary can begin in mid-summer.
The Bay Architects are also working on redesigning the sacristy to comply with building code mandates and to improve its appearance and functionality. The architect plans to file an application for a sacristy structural alteration permit with the Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission in early May. We anticipate a public hearing on the sacristy design around mid-summer.
We are continuing to fund raise for things that we believe are necessary or highly desirable but that are not covered by insurance. Chief among them is a fire sprinkler system for the church and sacristy. We will hold our first major fire restoration fund raising event on June 23. Tickets are for sale on the homepage of this site, and keep an eye out for more detail!
Thank you for your continued patience, support and prayers.