Located on a rural site north of Plantersville, Texas the century-old Catholic community at St. Mary’s Catholic Church engaged the architectural team to develop a strategy that would enable the growing parish to expand their beloved sanctuary and to add needed restrooms and accessibility. The church was not interested in a new sanctuary and they were not interested in a big change. After watching an episode of Mega-Movers several of the church’s leaders challenged the architectural team to come up with a design that would allow them to grow, while retaining the integrity of its nearly 100-year-old sanctuary, an integral part of the church history and worship experience.
The innovative design includes cutting the existing church in half and stretching it 30 feet. The new space, seats about 140 more parishioners matches the existing hand painted bead board interior finishes. New windows match the gothic arched leaded glass windows of the old church and even the rustic pews match each and every detail. It was necessary to study and profile all the existing wood trim and to be faithful to the construction techniques and joinery of the existing interior detailing. A glass connector joins the original historic structure to a new accessible lobby, restroom block and a new reconciliation room. Construction was finished in time for parishioners to move back into their church home and enjoy the church’s biggest annual event, drawing a crowd of approximately 5,000.