Philadelphia PA | 2015 | Completed
Overbrook Presbyterian Church is an example of ongoing efforts by a church community to make better use of their facilities in support of the surrounding neighborhood. The church’s current activities include the restoration and maintenance of their 1889 historic building. With a long established history of shared uses, beginning with a preschool established in 1965 a Conditions Assessment undertaken in the late 90’s, defined and prioritized building deficiencies and became the basis of a capital campaign raising funds to enable the Property Committee and Converse Winkler Architecture to address many of the high priority improvements. These renovations featured upgrading the electrical systems, converting to a gas boiler, emergency lighting, handrail modifications and roof repairs. Partners for Sacred places assisted the efforts, providing education, maintenance guidance and strategies for undertaking larger projects as well as a matching grant for the slate roof repairs and replacement. Additional improvements were made to the lower level classrooms and outside play areas to create a playful and safe environment. Ceiling and lighting improvements, colorful murals, landscape, play equipment and tree planting have made for an enlivened environment while practical repairs such as moisture remediation at below grade walls ensure a safe environment. Renovations to the chapel and fellowship hall include a new A/V system and improved acoustics that allow for intimate seminar uses as well as a projecting stage and theater lighting to be the current home for numerous community organizations and meetings.
Photo credit: Jeffrey Totaro