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St. Paul's Catholic Church
Richmond, Virginia

The studio was called in to this parish for a small order of metalware back in 2011, which led to the restoration of four wooden statues, then some enhancements to the font, then some repair to the remains of the old communtion rail, then new/vintage stations of the cross, and then to a design contract for the restoration/enhancement of the sanctuary and nave... which led to lots of committee meetings at the parish and the diocese...

Finally, in the fall of 2016, the studio got the order for the full 'floor to ceiling' restoration of the sanctuary and nave.

Click on the images to enlarge, and read more about the project below.

Designed by the Staunton firm of TJ Collins & Son, St. Paul's Church was built in 1950 with great enthusiasm on a tight budget, resulting in 'good bones' but some cost cutting finishes. In the 1970's it was revised according to an interpretation of the Vatican II reforms, but never again renovated, revived, or revitalized in a comprehensive way... until now.

This project was designed to restore the interior to its original intent, by staying true to the French Gothic style, while upgrading materials and incorporating current ADA guidelines. Thus, a fabric curtain was replaced with a wood reredos, carpet was replaced with porcelain flooring --and an accessible ramp, and the ceiling was enhanced with wood panels in a herringbone pattern. Mosaic panels from the original communion rail were replicated in a frieze around the reredos canopy. A marble slab with mosaic details was salvaged from the original altar and incorporated into the new altar. The restored font was moved to the entrance, atop a floor tile detail which links it to the new sanctuary floor.

In addition to the symbolic and beautification aspects, the project included practical and maintenance factors, such as retrofitted lighting with dimmer capabilities, fresh paint, new pews, and more. All aspects were woven together by liturgical desinger Ronald Neill Dixon, in terms of proprotion, tones, materials, and style to create a composition that is authentic and appropriate to the architecture, as well as affordable and appreciated by the parish.


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