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.
The slab on the west end was crumbling.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dave Fitzgerald, our general contractor, along with his crew from Seneca Building Co., designed and built this huge, sturdy arbor for us.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.