Renovation and Expansion

Project Owner: St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Designer: Marianna Thomas, AIA

In the 1920s, the congregation of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem hired notable New York architect Ralph Adams Cram to design its new sanctuary. Upon seeing the dramatic hillside location in the West End neighborhood, Cram reportedly said, "A man does not have many chances in a lifetime to build a church on a location such as this."* When the church was completed in 1928, its smooth Massachusetts granite walls and massive tower loomed above the treetops of West End. It remains a magnificent example of Gothic Revival architecture in North Carolina.

More than 70 years later, the church selected Blum Construction to build a 44,000-square-foot addition and renovate an additional 15,000 more square feet of space. The award-winning addition included multi-purpose space and a fellowship hall, making use of heavy timber construction on the interior and well-matched stone on the exterior.

To deal with the tight site in a densely populated neighborhood, as well as a full schedule of weekly activities and an onsite pre-school, Blum developed a complex construction schedule that accommodated peak traffic times and kept children, staff, and nearby residents safe during a nearly two-year renovation.

*From North Carolina Architects & Builders: A Biographical Dictionary, North Carolina State University Libraries website.

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