Saturday, January 24, 2009

The church renovation

About 3 years ago our church was renovated.
Here are some of the pictures of what the interior looked like before and after.


Right side view

Left side view

View from choir

View of front after renovation
Right side after renovation
Left side after renovation

The whole theme of the "renovation" seems to herald back to an earlier era of iconclasm, or at least minimalism regarding the usage of iconography. We once had walls vibrant with color and iconography, only to see the icons depicting the life of Mary (of whom our parish is named) that were interspersed between the stained glass icons depictiong the life of Jesus, removed and sold, given away to various parties, or who knows what. Now we have austere plain white walls that have no distracting color or iconography to bring the Divine Liturgy to life.

The gold leaf on the back wall of the sanctuary was painted over with "gold" paint. I don't know if that meant it was "gold" in color or actually had some miniscule amount of gold in the pigment.


Michael said...

I'm sorry to see this. There would seem to be no logical reason for the removal or destruction of the iconography. I hope it can all be undone someday.

Steve P said...

Sadly, I have found that the original icons between the windows on the sides of the nave have gone in seperate directions. They were done on canvas to allow for repairs or repainting the walls. The canvas icons were apparently removed for the repainting and never remounted. Meanwhile several of them have been "lost".

Anonymous said...

We are in the process of putting canvas icons on the walls in our little Romanian Byzantine Church in Pittsburgh. Sometime in the 1950s they removed or painted over all the older icons.
I am so sorry they removed all the wonderful icons from the church pictured.

Steve P said...

The latest development is that certain board members and the priest wish to "restore" the few icons that remain. The iconographer they chose has a vastly different style than the original iconographer who is the mother of one of our cantors.

Michael said...

The worst bit of all is the cheap "gold" paint behind the holy table. Poorly done.

Steve P said...

The new "gold" paint does not have the shine that the gold leaf had, even after 40+ years of wear.