On January 1, 2012 our meeting house at 599 Main Street suffered a consuming structural fire. The entire south end of the church, up to the Addition’s firewall, was lost. We rebuilt the structure over the next two years. Below is some chronology of events during this restoration.
Updates – newest on top:
Update – April 9, 2014
Rev. Dr. Barry Cass
We are now down to counting days until our Meeting House is complete. The floors have been completed and look amazing! The pews have all been delivered and will be installed by April 11. They arrived in pieces, with sides, backs and seats for each one to be put together in place. Once they are put together, there is also a hymnal rack for each one that will need to be installed. As in the old church, there will be eleven rows of pews in the new sanctuary. However, there will be no divider between the center pews and the outside pews.
In the former Meeting House there were candelabra that could be placed on every other pew for candlelight services. These candelabra were attached to the inside of the pews with two screws and there was a specific candelabrum for each pew. In the new sanctuary the candelabra will be held in place with two brass rings installed in the pews. There will be no need for tools or screws and the candelabra will be interchangeable. The new aisle candelabra will also have taller and heavier duty chimneys. All of this means that the candles should be more stable and there will be less chance of chimneys breaking while in use.
We have received confirmation from the organ builder that they will be here to begin the installation on May 19. It is disappointing that the organ installation will begin after the Open House and Dedication, but we can adjust. Worship will be held in the sanctuary beginning on Easter Sunday, even without the organ. We will continue using the Clavanova until the organ is ready. Installation of the organ may take up to two weeks and then there will be several weeks of “voicing” to make sure everything sounds as it should.
The sidewalk will be installed on the west side of the building by April 11. The hand rails will be installed on the new Memorial Garden steps by April 18. Scott Daigle is creating and donating the Memorial Garden railings. The Memorial Garden Committee is continuing to add plantings to cover new compressors. There is painting left to be done on the columns and on the west side of the exterior of the Meeting House that will be done once the weather warms enough to not cause problems. After the painting is done landscaping on the west side will be finished with the arrival and spreading of topsoil followed by grass seed. There may be some further landscaping down on the south and west sides of the building this summer. The “patio” that was next to the main door on the east side of the building will be replaced with a large piece of blue stone salvaged from the front portico of the old building and pavers. There is a large fire hydrant in that area that must remain, though we are planning on painting it to look more attractive.
As the construction project draws to a close we are happy to report that all of our bills have been paid up-to-date. We are fortunate to have many generous members and friends who have pledged and given funds. We will need to borrow some funds to fill the gap and still have about $250,000 we need to raise to complete the funding. Anyone who is so moved can make contributions through the mail (PO Box 295 Somers, CT 06071) or on our website (www.somerscongregational.org ).