Memorial Garden Design Concept

Memorial Garden Design Concept

 

Existing Site Conditions at the Project’s Beginning

The image below is what the courtyard looked like before the project started: covered in gravel, with a simple path from the steps on the east side to a ramp emerging from the ambulatory door.

Courtyard features & measurements, at the start of the project

View to the east, before the project started…

View to the West, before the project started…

The slab on the west end was crumbling.

Features to be replaced: crumbling slab and inappropriately-sized ramp

As you can see in the photo above, the existing ramp was longer than needed to meet grade, but without room for a level landing pad, and the pathway intersected the sloped side of the ramp.

 

Ground Plane Features

Improved Accessibility

We improved accessibility by shortening the ramp from the ambulatory door and adding a new landing pad, as well as adding new steps on the west end, a rectangular patio and universally accessible paths throughout the courtyard.

Shortened ramp abutting new brick and paver landing pad, which is traversed by the curving western memorial brick path

Lakeview Lawn and Landscape, Inc., of Canandaigua, was subcontracted to do the intricate work on the ground plane. This included installation of the semielliptical patio, the rectangular memorial brick patio and new steps, the curving western pathway and ramp landing pad, and the eastern pathway.

View of new features on the west side of the courtyard: memorial brick path, landing pad, rectangular memorial brick patio, and steps


 
Patterned Semielliptical Patio

The stained glass windows of the sanctuary’s north wall, which doubles as the south wall of the courtyard, provided inspiration to Sage Gerling and Sabrina Siebert for the design of the main patio, as well as the curving path.

The partial circle from the window translates to more of a partial ellipse in the patio, while the thick outline is represented by a curved seating wall that is also a columbarium.

view of completed semielliptical patio, cropped

 

Memorial Bricks

In the past, the names of deceased church members have been engraved on plaques and displayed on the wall in the small entryway north of the Fellowship Hall.

Memorial plaques in small entryway north of the Fellowship Hall

The names of members who pass away in 2012 and beyond will be engraved on the dark reddish memorial bricks that will replace blank bricks in the rectangular memorial brick patio on the west end of the garden, or in the paths on either the east or west sides of the garden, using money from the memorial fund. Drennen Memorials is engraving memorial bricks for us. Those who wish to honor and memorialize passed members may contribute $100 to have their loved one’s name engraved on a memorial brick. There are 370 whole memorial bricks available throughout the courtyard memorial garden for engraving.

Memorial brick patio and path on the west side of the courtyard, during construction

A portion of the western path, with many engraved bricks visible

A portion of the western path, with a number of bricks already engraved

Eastern path

Eastern path with reddish memorial bricks outlined by gray pavers

 

Site Furniture

The columbaria to house the urns of our loved ones are the most crucial elements of the site furniture, of course, acting both as focal points and, in the case of the short, curved wall, as a bench. Please visit the Information about the Columbaria page for more details about them.

Three trellises and an arbor provide space for shade-tolerant twining vines to climb, adding greenery in the vertical dimension, and framing the view from the western entrance, beyond the memorial brick patio.

Arbor

Dave Fitzgerald, our general contractor, along with his crew from Seneca Building Co., designed and built this huge, sturdy arbor for us.

Model view under arbor from west to east

View east through arbor, untilted

View from the rectangular patio, east through the arbor to the columbaria.

View of arbor from the east
View of arbor from the east (the door opens into the hallway between the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall)

Trellises

Sabrina and Ti Siebert custom designed the trellises to reflect the gothic arches and diamond patterns in the windows, while incorporating the scrollwork from the cast iron railing at the eastern steps.

The trellis design uses many elements of the stained glass windows for inspiration, including the paired gothic arches within a larger arch.

trellis inspiration in stained glass window

The starburst at the apex of an arch and the diamond pattern below were also used.

through railing

The scrollwork on the cast iron railing of the eastern steps inspired the scrollwork at the top of the trellises.

Tom Batz of Xtremetalworks did a fabulous job of fabricating the trellises from stainless steel, which was then powder coated in black to provide protection from the elements and to better coordinate with the cast iron railing, as shown above.

top of trellis

Here you can see the paired gothic arches within a larger arch, the starburst at the apex, the diamond lattice pattern, and the scrollwork, forming a sort of open heart.

Two of the trellises, with the plantings completed
Here are two of the three trellises, with the plantings completed. Two different species of Clematis will provide blooms at different times.

Vines on the trellis in the southeast corner will help to conceal a pipe from view (see model view below).

Vines on the trellis in the southeast corner will help to conceal a pipe from view (see model view below).

Model view of the semi-elliptical patio and columbaria, looking east from the landing pad, with vines depicted

View east from under the arbor

View east from under the arbor

Looking east from the ramp at the ambulatory entrance, we see the curving path, the semicircular patio, and both the curved columbarium (which doubles as a bench) and the taller straight columbarium.

Completed garden, looking southeast from the ramp

Fountain

A historic baptismal font that had previously been used in our church had been purchased, but has generously been donated back to the church by Dr. David Herd. The font was refurbished by Drennen Memorials, and has been turned into a fountain, to provide soothing sounds in the garden: masking the noise of traffic, creating a meditative atmosphere, and encouraging a prayerful state of mind.

Baptismal font in Dr. Herd’s yard, prior to refurbishment

The baptismal font, refurbished by Drennen Memorials, and outfitted with a pump to become a fountain

The baptismal font, refurbished by Drennen Memorials, and equipped with a pump to become a fountain

Model view from the eastern steps towards the west

view west across Memorial Garden from Eastern entrance

View of the completed project, with the baptismal font converted to a fountain, on the left

Model view of the baptismal font as a fountain, (depicting a commercially available trellis, before our custom design was created).

The baptismal font has been converted into a fountain in the Memorial Garden. The trellis behind the fountain reflects the gothic arches and diamond patterns in the windows, while incorporating the scrollwork from the cast iron railing at the eastern steps.

View of the baptismal font and corner trellis in the completed garden

 

Lighting

At this time, relatively few functions are held in the evening in the church. The lights from the Ambulatory, when turned on, provide a great deal of illumination to the semi-elliptical patio. A light above the rectangular patio was restored to full function (although that is not shown in the following photos). Nevertheless, in anticipation of potential future nighttime use of the Memorial Garden, we opted to add spotlights to highlight the three trellises, the fountain, and each side of the arbor.  To ensure the safety of any nighttime visitors, we also added lighting for the pathways. A new switch inside the ambulatory door controls all of the deck lights in the columbarium stanchions, the path light, and spotlights. Seneca Building Co. and Peck Electric installed the lighting.

Spotlights highlight the corner trellis and fountain.

Spotlights highlight the corner trellis and fountain.

A path light ensures safety along the western memorial path

A path light ensures safety along the western memorial path, while spotlights show off the ‘Blue Angel’ Clematis and native honeysuckle vines on the arbor.

south side of arbor, lit at night
path light at night, looking northeast

Deck lights on the columbarium stanchions help illuminate the paths.

Deck lights on the columbarium stanchions help illuminate the paths. (Note that the columbarium capstones have not yet been installed, in these photos.)

Please see the page on Habitat Conditions and Planting Design for information about the plants. Volunteer gardeners would be greatly appreciated! Please contact Ti Siebert or Rita Reissig (contact information is in the “Time and Talent” bulletin at the church) for more details.

To contact the Memorials and History Committee for more information concerning or to make comments about the Memorial Garden, please complete the information below.

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