Paris Presbyterian Church

Paris, Ontario




Larkin Architect was invited to conduct a condition assessment and feasibility study for the restoration, renovation, and potential addition to the existing 1894 Church. Designed by Thomas John Rutley in the new-Romanesque style, the impressive landmark is a feature of the Paris Ontario downtown. Significant deterioration of the eaves had resulted in extensive masonry damage and falling bricks posing concerns for public safety. The community needed to determine whether repairs and renovations could cost effectively give them a functional facility for their contemporary needs or whether a new property should be purchased, potentially resulting in the loss of the heritage landmark.

Larkin Architect’s initial design work laid out a phased approach for rehabilitating and renovating the existing facility. Phase 1, anticipated to start in summer of 2020, begins with critical envelope stabilization including masonry repair, slate roof repair, and reconstruction of the existing eaves. Some window, plaster, and interior restoration is required due to damage.

Phase 2 will include the renovation and restoration of the worship space to allow a more flexible space for contemporary worship while preserving the important character defining features of the space.

Finally Phase 3 includes an addition and interior renovations to create a bright and welcoming entrance, facilitate barrier free access, and create more community space at grade to host community and cultural events. The addition was carefully designed to be visually compatible, but subordinate and distinguishable from the historic form. The final design was enthusiastically received by the community as finding the right balance between their contemporary needs and preserving an important part of their history.