Our mosaic and natural stone experts were honored to work on the selective dismantling, restoration, modification, fabrication, and installation of two of Trinity Church Wall Street’s most significant features: its Gothic Revival chancel and historic Astor Altar, which are about 150 years old. The church’s 35 by 20-foot reredos was designed by renowned English architect Frederick Clarke Withers, and the altar’s extraordinary mosaic panels are believed to have been created by acclaimed Italian mosaic artist Antonio Salviati. These mosaic panels are considered priceless liturgical art pieces, as is the church’s Vermont statuary marble altar.
Rugo Stone was selected for this sensitive historical preservation project based on our extensive experience in stone and mosaic conservation and restoration. We needed to meet New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission standards, while creating a new ADA-compliant altar configuration for this thriving New York City Episcopal parish. This complex project involved carefully dismantling and restoring the historic Astor Altar’s internal structural supports and restoring and reproducing much of its decorative mosaic and stonework.
Rugo carefully cataloged the altar, 3D scanned it in place, then dismantled and transported it to our carving studio. Over the next six months, Rugo Stone artisans meticulously cleaned and restored the damaged pieces and produced new columns, hand-carved capitals, dutchmen patches, and new gilding to match the original work from the 1800s.
Rugo also sourced new Caen French limestone to carve new rear wall pilasters and bases. Matching the original Caen limestone that was quarried in the 1860s presented a unique challenge, but we were able to source new Caen French limestone from which to carve new rear wall pilasters and bases. The Chancel floor is also new and paved in Olympian white and Rosso Levanto marbles with 1/32″ joints patterned to create a stunning checkerboard pattern.
After working tirelessly to complete the project in time for the church’s dedication services on Christmas 2019, this team effort has been a source of pride and very well received.