Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, April 11, 2016

Under construction! - Rector's Rambling for April 10, 2016

As you have noticed by now, there are exciting projects happening around St. John’s, and more to come at St. John’s as well.
Shortly after Easter Day the construction by Olympia Development on the new five-story parking garage began behind St. John’s.  Fencing is up, and in the coming months we will see drilling for footings, ground re-graded and a new cement first floor poured, and then the rest of the garage will arrive in pieces on flatbed trailers, pre-fabricated, to assemble.  Wetherill Street, the road that runs in front of Comerica Park perpendicular to Montcalm, will be re-opened to the service drive and will serve as the entrance into our drop off area as well as the parking garage when the project is done.  We will keep you alerted to the various changes to traffic patterns (such as the long-awaited opening of the Fisher Freeway Service Drive) as they are implemented.
Here at St. John’s a contract has been signed to do some tuck-pointing and stone repair to the building.  When repairs are finished the building will be cleaned for the first time in over 40 years and a sealant applied to help prevent future leaks.  Most of this will be done via a bucket truck so no scaffolding will have to be installed on the building.
Lighting upgrades will also begin soon, to both the chapel and the church buildings.  This will include new L.E.D. lighting and wiring installed in existing fixtures, and new fixtures installed were dark spots occur.  Some scaffolding will be used, but we will try to minimize their presence on Sunday mornings.
Two-year old restaurant kitchen equipment has been donated to St. John’s, and soon the kitchen will be renovated for the new equipment installation.
The vestry is also preparing to hire an architect to help with preparations to renovate the undercroft and office building, both of which were built to current design in 1971, with a few minor updates over the years, and are both long overdue to be upgraded to better serve our mission and ministry.
Where is the money coming from?  The stone work and lighting is being paid from funds given at the property lease signing for capital improvements, as is the hiring of the architect.  The cleaning is a part of the lease arrangement.  Kitchen renovation has some private donations earmarked to cover a portion of it.
The undercroft and office building renovation is to be determined, and it is hoped that parishioners and friends will be interested in aiding in that effort.