The historic, Baroque-style Church of St. Francis Xavier on West 16th Street was completed in 1882 by architect Patrick Keely, and remains an integral part of the Chelsea neighborhood. The recent project included extensive cleaning and restoration of the ornate plaster and stone interiors, and structural work as part of reconfiguring the sanctuary by raising the transept floor, moving the 20,000-pound altar forward into the transept, raising portions of the balcony floors to provide space for new HVAC ducts, and creating a new steel frame to support the organ loft screen and provide a location for an attic access stair.
The structural alterations required on-site investigation of the existing wood, cast-iron, brick, and stone structure; reviewing the base first-floor framing for the added weight of the raised transept floor and the newly-placed masonry altar; and designing new elevated floors to span over the ducts at the balcony and between existing girders at the transept. In addition, we designed new supports for the crucifix of the memorial to North Americans Martyrs.
In addition to the 2010 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy, this project received a Merit award for “Religious Architecture: Renovation” from Faith & Form: The Interfaith Journal on Religion, Art and Architecture.