Port Washington church has new $1.7M look

Parishioners at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior

Parishioners at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Port Washington enjoy a free concert in the chapel. (June 1, 2013) Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

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The Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Port Washington unveiled its $1.7 million expansion and renovation Saturday.

After an 18-month renovation, the nearly 90-year-old English Tudor and Gothic Revival-style church on Franklin Avenue has larger and upgraded facilities for community and athletic activities, integrating the original church with the new sections.

"Now, it seems we're able to reach out and do God's work in repairing the world here in Port Washington," said the Rev. Charles R. Vogeley, pastor of the 325-member church for 38 years.

Saturday's ceremonial ribbon-cutting and open house -- attended by more than 150 people -- included a performance by church music director Federico Teti and activities for children and teens, such as a basketball clinic by John Buck, coach of Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville.

The renovated and expanded structure includes a sanctuary, gymnasium, community event areas, administrative offices, new sprinkler system and a new elevator to provide handicap access to the building. The project tripled the previous lobby's size to 510 square feet and added a large Gothic-style window.

Also, a nearly 500-square-foot patio featuring personalized pavers, planters, and a bluestone bench was added. The stone of the original 1920s church was incorporated in a new flagpole planter bed.

During construction, the church, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was open only for Sunday services. The church-owned two-family house next door was used as offices, Vogeley said.

"The building is just beautiful, [and] the congregation is very welcoming," said six-year church member Ginny Stone, 60, of Port Washington, who wed her husband, Jeff Stone, less than three years ago in the old church.

The project was financed through donations from congregants and fundraising efforts since the idea blossomed five years ago.

Patchogue-based BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers served as the designer, while Garden City-based Triton Construction was the general contractor.

"It's a great moment to make an addition look like it was always there and be respectful to the community," BBS principal Roger Smith said.

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