The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a landmark property in the heart of Syracuse, a significant component of the National Register Columbus Circle Historic District. The Diocese undertook this massive project to preserve and update the Cathedral and adjoining Rectory to serve contemporary needs.
Cathedral restoration required replacement of the sanctuary’s slate roof, structural support of deteriorated parapets, and extensive masonry and stone restoration. Interior Cathedral improvements included: accessible ramps to the altar, new tile flooring, refinishing existing wood pews, repairing original plaster walls, and upgrading liturgical furnishings. Custom lighting and a fresh paint color scheme highlight the Cathedral’s natural beauty.
Rectory goals were improved space utilization with integration of wheelchair accessibility throughout. A new elevator at the core of the Rectory achieves accessibility without impact on the historic façades. Architectural 3D modeling demonstrated the limited visibility of the new elevator penthouse, which was instrumental in preservation review board approvals. This complex design resolution demonstrates the creative integration of all professional disciplines.
The ground-floor Rectory courtyard was repurposed to year-round use to enhance communication between existing rooms and the elevator lobby. The second-floor courtyard roof terrace, adjacent to the break room and staff offices, has a skylight extending natural light into the former courtyard below. The primary lobby between the Rectory and the Cathedral also serves the historic gathering room adjacent to the Cathedral. With a rebuilt lobby roof, a gable skylight ties into the original architectural geometry of the gathering room, yet remains hidden from the street. The historical façade, previously hidden from view, is now visible through the skylight.