January 10, 2020 HBI Begins Work at the historic Ionic Hall and St. Luke’s Chapel in Roxbury
HBI and architects Spencer, Sullivan & Vogt are advising the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts on historic preservation strategies for Ionic Hall and St. Luke’s chapel (1901), two important Roxbury buildings that make up the parish of St. John St. James. Mindful of the havoc winter weather can wreak on historic structures, the team has implemented a stabilization program that will help buy time until a full preservation program for both buildings can be undertaken.
St. Luke’s Chapel was designed by the pre-eminent gothic revival architect Ralph Adams Cram in 1901 for the St. Luke’s Convalescents Home, which once occupied the next-door Ionic Hall.
Empty and unused for more than 30 years, St. Luke’s interior and structure have been compromised by many years of exposure to water infiltration through the roof, gutters and windows. The HBI team is working to arrest further short-term damage from winter weather while planning is underway for complete envelope restoration this spring.
While planning is under way to begin envelope restoration this spring on St. Luke’s chapel, a 1901 Ralph Adams Cram gem, the HBI team has also worked to arrest further short-term damage from water infiltration through the roof, gutters and windows.
Spencer, Sullivan & Vogt called upon some of their most trusted contractors to undertake emergency protection measures. A framework has been installed to support plastic sheeting to protect the beautiful wood reredos, just in case some water still finds its way inside.
Serpentino Stained Glass was enlisted to remove a stained glass window depicting angels that was at risk of falling; it is now being safely stored until it can be repaired and re-installed. Window openings have been boarded and the historic chapel door has been stored and temporarily replaced with a more secure, weather tight plywood door. An arborist removed intrusive tree volunteers from the chapel’s perimeter that was also contributing to the deterioration of the stone retaining wall adjacent to the property.
We’re grateful for a generous grant from Boston’s Community Preservation Act Fund, , which are being used to stabilize and preserve St. Luke’s for future community uses.