Christ Church Cambridge

Project Overview

Christ Church Cambridge, built in 1761, is one of the oldest Episcopal congregations in the area. Its wood frame building, designed by the noted 18th century architect Peter Harrison, is designated as a National Historic Landmark. Peter Harrison also designed King’s Chapel in Boston and the Touro Synagogue in Newport, and is considered by many to be America’s first architect. The congregation renovated the exterior of the building in 2011, but the sanctuary was also in need of an update to support the Church’s flourishing music and performance program and to bring the space and mechanical systems up to 21st century standards. The timeframe for the work was tight—demolition started on the day after Christmas and the space had to be ready in time for Holy Week services.

Hear from the Owner

“Thank you and your crew for pulling off such a remarkable piece of work.  I have heard only good things about everything, including GF Rhode.  I hope that you all feel the same way, though I am sure we weren’t the easiest of clients.  It is quite a remarkable accomplishment, and would not have been possible without you, Todd, and others at GF Rhode.”

Hear from the Builder

“We embarked on this project aware that the Church’s committee process had the potential to bog down the construction process, which was daunting given the tight schedule for completion and some of the project’s technical challenges.  However, this had to have been one of our most enjoyable projects, both because of the historic and spiritual importance of the work and the positive relationships created with the Church.  These facilitated efficient information flow and generated professional respect all around.  In the end, the renovated Church was ready on schedule, and I was proud of the professional accomplishments of the GF Rhode team.”

Credits and Links

Frank Shirley Architects

Randy O’Rourke Photography