Renovating St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Bryn Mawr (Part 1)

Historically our frenetic pace slows a bit in the late fall, as people settle down from the summer and start preparing for the holidays. This lightening of the load is actually a blessing, so to speak; Jon and his family are very involved with St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Bryn Mawr, which is well over 100 years old and usually in need of some cosmetic updating.

The church was founded in 1876 and its structure completed in 1879; of course the sanctuary and surrounding buildings were added onto as the area’s population increased (though the original sanctuary remains, safely ensconced in a section of the much larger one built in the 1960s).

When I first came back to Philadelphia in 2003 and began working with Jon, after nearly 15 years away, I spent a decent amount of time at the church, helping them set up for their annual Children’s Festival and other large events. I met a lot of good people, which was nice since I didn’t have a large circle of friends or my own family yet. They’re a group that focuses on spiritual growth and positive living, rather than a strict or harsh interpretation of the Bible — not the kind of crowd to get upset when they see a Jewish boy like me wandering the halls.

So during the months of November and December we’ll often set up shop on the corner of Montgomery Avenue and Pennswood Road (next to Harcum College) and give the church’s buildings their required and earned attention.

In past years we installed all new windows in the large Lurwick Hall educational building, re-drywalled and painted the interior of the building, excavated and re-poured the cement sidewalk and walkway along Montgomery Avenue, and installed new siding on the church’s parsonage (which isn’t the candlelit cabin I associate with the word, but a beautiful 6-bedroom house with a detached garage. This is the Main Line, after all).

This year we’re removing the original, cement shingle roof of the Lurwick educational building (built in 1950) and replacing it with dimensional asphalt shingles. The entire process should take about two weeks. Although not roofers by trade, we do roofing pretty regularly in the course of our projects. Almost always when we build additions (a few times a year), we’ll re-roof and then usually re-side or re-surface the entire house so it looks uniform.

Check back to see the work in action and find out if we’ve fallen off any ladders.

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Comments

  1. i enjoyed this report. i hope everything went well.

  2. Nice work guys! Finally got some time to blog?

    Eric