Photo contributed by the 06880 Blog
Eight years ago, a fire nearly destroyed a 189-year-old colonial church. Today, high white ceilings and brand new state-of-the-art kitchens and facilities have risen from the ashes.
The Saugatuck Congregational Church has completed its renovation after the fire that occurred just over eight years ago.
“We had to put in a brand new commercial kitchen downstairs, another kitchen up here [and] rebuild all these rooms,” Dr. Heather Hamilton, the director of music at the church, said. ”Everything had to be taken out and stripped down to the joists.”
This renovation has required churches and temples in the area to help out as it left members of the church without a place of worship.
“Anytime there is a major renovation, there are issues,” Hamilton said. “It was a multi-million dollar renovation.”
The pipe organ that was destroyed in the fire eight years ago has been replaced by a custom organ, an organ made by a piano company called Klais. A committee, made up of members of the church, was elected to choose a new organ. They ultimately decided upon a Klais due to the unique sound and easy viewing of the pipes’ blower and trackers of the organ.
The church has been a staple along Post Road for years, and an even bigger staple was the organ centered on the ground floor. Along with the organ, many other rooms in the church did not survive the fire and were in need of repair.
The organ was featured in the concert on Oct.13, a concert to celebrate the last piece of the renovation. The concert was open to all, not just members of the church.
“I want all the Staples students to feel welcome here,” Hamilton said. “Whether it’s coming to check out the building, checking the great youth group we have here, we are open [to] people of all backgrounds here[…] we want everyone to feel welcome here.”