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Keck Restores Pews in Four Cathedrals Simultaneously
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The 5th Cathedral - St. Agnes Cathedral, New York
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See our feature in the Times Herald-Record:

Take a virtual tour of our Middletown pew refinishing facility in the video above.

Preparations for Pope Francis’ visit to New York City in September have kept workers busy at a North Street business for more than three years.

The Keck Group’s church pew restoration plant expects to soon make its last delivery of pews and furnishings to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. The batch includes presider side chairs to seat the pope and Cardinal Timothy Dolan at the main altar.

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Trinity Church

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The third and existing Trinity Church was finished in 1846, and as the tallest building in lower Manhattan, it’s towering gothic spire was the welcoming beacon for ships sailing into New York Harbor.  Trinity Church is a registered National Landmark.

After earlier renovations in which the pews were not restored, the church has hired, through Sciame Construction, The Keck Group to restore the pews and matching wainscot.  Besides refinishing, the pews are undergoing many ergonomic changes, which include:

  • Lowering the pew ends six inches which is no easy task and requiring great skill to keep the visual as exists.
  • Cutting the high backs down six inches.
  • Replacing the flat seats with new contoured seats.
  • Eliminating the divider wall and substituting new joiners.
  • Modifying the wainscot to accept the new design.
  • Manufacturing and installing new mid supports.
  • Manufacturing and installing five new pews to replicate the modified existing.

We removed the pews, screens and wainscot in mid-May and plan on installing when the church interior is completed in November, 2019.


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The Keck Group Restorers of pews in 10 recent cathedral projects

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The Keck Group has moved through the years from pew refinishers to pew restoration specialists as the need arises for ergonomic adjustments in pew design because of the increased size of church attendees.

Many of the older church pews had flat seats, straight backs perpendicular to the seats and short seats.  Historically significant pews generally fall into this category because of their earlier age of construction.

Many of the Cathedral pews listed below fall into this category.

Recent Cathedral Pew Restoration Projects:

Churches in progress

Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston MA

Trinity Church, Lower Manhattan

St. Peter, Pittsburg PA

St. Mary, Aspen CO

Our Lady of Grace, Hoboken

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Centereach NY

Blessed Sacrament, Staten Island NY

St. Stephens, Middleburg VA

St. Heide & St. Hugh’s, NY,NY

St. Joseph Church, Rutherford NJ

Citadel Church, Brooklyn NY

St. Anthony of Padua, Passaic NJ

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Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston MA

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After 150 years, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is undergoing a much needed restoration.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley and Rector Msgr. Kevin O’Leary chose Baker Liturgical Arts of Plantville CT to partake in the historical restoration, who in turn contracted The Keck Group, also known as “The Cathedral Pew Restorers”, to do the complicated refinishing work.

Removal of more than three thousand feet of pews took place in April, 2017.   The pews were built into the floor, and each and every pew had to be cut flush with the slightly raised floor level under the pews (which will be removed so that there is no elevation transition), leaving almost four inches of the pew ends in the floor.

This process will make the installation easier, as the ends will have been previously cut to size.

We are removing the existing divider wall and substituting new joiners, so parishioners can slide all the way across the pew, vs. half way.

The side aisle pews are also being shortened to make way for the new HVAC system.

Installation is planned prior to Easter, 2019.

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