Architect, Rene Robert Mueller got approached by the Building Commission of the Archdiocese of New York to spear head a total architectural, structural and mechanical renovation and sanitation of Saint Mary’s Church in Wappinger Falls, New York. Recommendations came from previous successfully finished projects in other parishes in New York. The plan concept was in general to renovate the space, totally overhaul the mechanical and electrical systems, reinforce floor structures and implement new flooring, new pews, rebuild the choir loft to the original concept with rehabilitation of organ, rebuild the two side altars and main altar with stepped platforms based on the architect’s concept.
All exterior stained glass windows got sent out for rehabilitation. To everybody’s surprise a large stain glass window/rosette was discovered hidden behind stucco walls (hidden for many years) while the choir loft reconstruction was in progress. The successful planning by Architect and Building Commission, time for ascertaining all permits and construction lasted 20 months. The official consecration of the newly renovated church was in 2001.
St. Mary’s Church, an English Gothic style church built in 1877, underwent a major renovation by the Architect, Rene Robert Mueller over seven months in 2001. The renovation was historically sensitive and he restored the church to its original configuration, including exposing a hidden rose window and design of a new choir loft. The restoration was sparked by our desire to air condition the church in an unobtrusive manner. Rene completely concealed the ductwork for the air conditioning system in double floors and walls. The only instruction given to Rene was not to change the image of St. Mary’s. This was very successfully executed: when our regular parishioners returned to the renovated church, they exclaimed: “It is still St. Mary’s, only better!” Rene also designed a new Botticini marble and ceramic tile floor, new pews sympathetic in style to the Gothic stained-glass windows, and the sanctuary altar and statue pedestals (both in Botticini marble).
Location: Wappingers Falls – Dutchess County, New York, USA Architect: Rene Robert Mueller Architect + Planner
Client: Archdiocese of New York – Building Commission Project type: Interior renovation of Main Church
Size: 6,400 sq. ft.