Built in 1931, the Presidio Chapel needs a major facelift and expansion to best serve the interfaith center of tomorrow. Issues such as earthquake codes and accessibility were not considerations at that time. The congregations for which the chapel was built, Protestants and Jews, worshipped in pews. Sunday School classrooms and a large community, or “parish”, hall were provided for on the ground floor.
One of the design challenges is to create appropriate space for those religions whose followers do not use pews but gather in circles and/or sit/kneel on the floor. To address these concerns and guide the project, the Interfaith Center has hired the renowned architectural firm, Page & Turnbull, Inc. Page & Turnbull specializes in restoration and historic preservation; they have overseen such high-profile restoration projects as Grace Cathedral, Old First Presbyterian Church and the Asian Art Museum. The proposed renovation project will:
- Renovate much of the existing non-sanctuary space to better accommodate a wide range of religions that will use the facility for various events and activities.
- Restore the Chapel’s historic pipe organ, add an elevator, install new plumping, electrical and heating systems, and update the kitchen and restrooms.
- Improve entranceways and exterior landscaping so the Chapel is in harmony with its lovely surroundings.
- Provide seismic bracing of the roof and other upgrades to bring the building into compliance with local building codes and with ADA accessibility requirement.s
- Provide better space for educational programs, hospitality (both indoor and out) for weddings, gatherings, services.
- Provide a permanent home for the McDonald Memorial Peace Windows in a new 1,900 square foot addition.
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