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Church of the Holy Cross
New York, NY

As true today as when founded, the motto of this legendary New York City parish is “Serving at the Crossroads of the World since 1852.” Indeed, Holy Cross has followed the ups and downs of its West 42nd Street neighborhood over the decades: steady growth and building expansion in the 19th century, a phenomenal peak of membership and activity between the World Wars, followed by urban blight and suburban flight during the mid 20th century. Today, however, the neighborhood once known as “Hell’s Kitchen” has been transformed into a fashionable address for the performing arts and home to young professionals. Holy Cross stands poised to renew itself and continue serving New York City’s Roman Catholics for generations to come. Built in 1868, this cruciform, transition-style Byzantine church is the oldest building on 42nd Street, river to river. Still visible for blocks around, a monumental copper dome and lantern—all awaiting restoration—surmount the crossing. Inside, the church is a riot of liturgical decorative arts: marble, statuary, murals, stenciling, mosaics and stained glass. The rear balcony is graced by an unaltered 1933 Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. We designed a sophisticated speech reinforcement sound system as part of a major renewal and restoration design project. We also provided design guidance for sound isolation of traffic noise from 42nd Street, literally at the church’s doorstep. Completion of this work is pending fund raising by the parish.

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