Cheers for a restored church & its preservation award

Several months ago I wrote about a local church being restored with the intention of turning it into a medical center focused on holistic health. A few weeks ago, the founders of The Healing Sanctuary hosted an open house, and on that same day, they were awarded an Orchid, the state’s highest honor for a restoration project.

Preservation Idaho hosts its annual Orchids & Onions Awards to celebrate positive contributions to preservation (that’s the Orchid) and to bring attention to projects showing insensitivity to historic preservation (that’s the Onion, and I’d like to hand out some of those myself).

To complete a restoration, attention to detail is key. In this old church, new windows perfectly mimic original ones, aside from the colored stain glass—that’s a new, delightful detail that enhances the leaded-glass detail that had always been there. Here’s a photo of an original window:

The wood floor in the cultural hall, laid in a log-cabin pattern, was the only flooring that could be saved, but new hardwood in that same pattern was installed in other large rooms in the building. (We have the same pattern in our living/dining room—you can see it here.)

The original large window over the entrance was saved and used in an interior decorative application, dividing the IV room from the hallway.

On the other side of the original front window is the IV room with the best view in the house! I love how this room was so thoughtfully planned with patients in mind. 

That large window is a reproduction and overlooks the front entrance. 

And the plaster—oh, the plaster. I can’t imagine how much money and time it took to save and match the original plaster. But it’s everywhere, and it’s seamless.

I was happy to see this profile used on the trim. This building is the same exact age of my house, and lo and behold, the trim profile is just the same too. Perfect for 1930s construction.

As far as color scheme, it’s all about calmness in The Healing Sanctuary, so there’s plenty of light blue, soft stains on the wood, and ample light. It is truly a peaceful place.

Pretty embroidered fabric

Congrats to all those involved—Dr. Jeff Baker and his beautiful wife, Stephen Loosli, architect Graham Whipple, and contractor Jay Taylor, to name a few. What a boost to the neighborhood and community at large.

P.S. Years ago I wrote about another Orchid winner—one of my favorite interviews and remodels of all time. See it here. •

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