Trinity member Michael Fleenor describes his first Trinity visit below. He interweaves his point of view as an awe-struck, out-of-town visitor with his vision and expertise as a historic building restoration professional. He then layers his Trinity Property Committee knowledge to describe the need for front door restoration, improved lighting and signage. Read on to find out how a 20th century “parable in stone” can transmit “welcome!” not only to visitors, but to the hundreds of people that walk or drive by daily.
I remember the first time I visited Trinity Cathedral was for a Boar’s Head Service. We were living in Nashville at the time, but visiting family in Cleveland for the holidays. As we entered the church, I was struck by the majesty of the English Perpendicular Gothic structure.
These first impressions are the result of conscious decisions made by the renowned architect Charles Schweinfurth, who was directed by the desires of the faith community. The Trinity Cathedral Historical & Architectural Guide labels the design intent that the building evokes as “parables in stone.” Our building tells a story, not only to those of us who attend services, but to visitors and passersby alike.
Trinity’s Property Committee, in prioritizing work to be done as part of a potential capital campaign, not only listed life and safety issues, but also those elements that create those first impressions. The front steps need structural work in order to secure the turned iron railing. The massive oak front doors need to be refinished. This will not only to preserve the old-growth wood and elaborate carving-practically irreplaceable but also allow for better hardware for security and quicker and safer exit from the building.
We’d also like to have a comprehensive lighting plan created by a professional lighting designer. This will not only make the building safer, brightening dark corners and illuminating potential trip hazards, but will also heighten the building’s visibility in the neighborhood. Interior lighting will enhance the building’s beautiful architectural features and make the sanctuary a better venue for musical and theatrical performances that serve to introduce Trinity to community members. Likewise, improved signage will help those who see our building also know the many programs and opportunities available inside, find their way through the complex, and interpret the art and architecture through self-guided tours. This is a rare opportunity to enhance the story-those “parables in stone” that Trinity tells.
Showcasing Trinity’s exterior through new and upgraded lighting, signage and landscaping are just several of the many projects under prayerful discernment (consideration) by members. Many of these projects will be featured in a walking tour offered during Trinity’s April 17th Ministry Fair. CLICK HERE to learn more about the proposed projects and how you can participate in the process.