Education Up Front

Harvard Breaks Ground on the Memorial Church Renovation

The renovation of Memorial Church gets underway with a ground breaking ceremony attended by Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church Jonathan Walton (from left), Harvard University President Drew Faust, and Edward Jones. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

(l-r) Patricia Harrington; Jonathan Walton; Harvard University President Drew Faust, and Edward Jones / photo by Stephanie Mitchell, Harvard staff photographer

Newton, MA – As the Class of 2016 crossed the threshold of their academic lives, it was time for Memorial Church to undergo its own transformation. Designed by university architects Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch and Abbott, and dedicated in 1932 on Armistice Day in memory of those who died in World War I, the church had last undergone renovations more than 30 years before.

“Elaine Construction is honored to have been selected to team with Harvard University and Payette for the renovations and upgrades to such a significant and central building to the Harvard Community,” said Lisa Wexler, Elaine Construction president.

The ceremonial ground breaking, which took place on June 13, marks the start of long-deferred building and infrastructure maintenance, including accessibility and safety compliance upgrades; a reconfigured lower level; and a new climate-control system to allow for improved use of the church year-round. In addition, the renovations will bring the church up to Harvard’s green building standards.

The event was attended by President Drew Faust; Professor Jonathan L. Walton; Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, Patricia Harrington; Director of Finance & Administration for the Office of the President and Provost, Ed Jones; organist and choirmaster, Harvard University; Lisa Wexler, president of Elaine Construction; and Todd Sloane and Charlie Klee of Payette.

Scheduled for completion before the new year, the upgrades will ensure service to the growing community.

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