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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.


Keck Group Finishes St. Joseph Project in Tight Turnaround Window

Msgr. James Swiader inspects pews being restored in our shop.

The first call for this project came from the Architects, HE2PD, Rockville Centre, to see if we could remove pews in the rear of the church for installation of a restored Paragallo organ. 

On the first visit, I had deja vu all over again. We had refinished these pews in the late 80’s, and now it was time for a slight color change and a refreshing refinish job. Instead of the scheme to refinish eight pews each week (pick up Monday and Reinstall Friday), we decided to accomplish the work in quarters, with a turnaround each 2 1/2 weeks. The challenge of seating was overcome with Keck lending the church 250 chairs that we moved around each pew installation.

Since the job started in late November, we agreed to have all of the pews in the church for Christmas, half refinished with the other half to be picked up on the Monday after Christmas.

The job was completed in January of 2016. Msgr. James Swaider, originally skeptical of the tight schedule, was elated with the beautifully refinished pews, and is anticipating the refinishing of all the exterior church doors and frames, set to begin in the spring.
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Work continues on Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

The Keck Group is progressing on work on modifying and restoring the pews at the historic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson, NJ

We were chosen for this project because we combined a new approach to alleviate the existing pew comfort issue. With a strong background in modifying old historic pews built for smaller bodies of the early 1900’s, The Keck Group used their former experience to create a more comfortable seating as requested by church goers in the 2000’s.

Instead of opting for expensive new pew bodies (the intent had been to replace everything but the decorative ends), we offered the option of just replacing the seat with a wider, contoured new oak seat. 

Visually, the restored pews would still retain the exact look as they have for the past 80 years, but the comfort factor would be updated to the 2000’s. As you look down the church, the back capping and the backs themselves are original. Same nice old grain, while retaining the patina (beauty of age) so desired by the architects.

Although the install date is still elusive because of the problems often uncovered during the restoration of a project of this magnitude, we are well underway at our facility in Middletown, NY.

All of the seats, backs, and ends have had the finish removed, and we are in the finishing stage. The newly manufactured contoured seats are now in-house ready to be finished, the kneelers ordered, and we look forward to assembly and installation.

For more information, click here.
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St. Agnes Cathedral is 5th Cathedral Project Since 2012



St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre NY

Our latest Cathedral Project, the fifth awarded The Keck Group since 2012, will begin its second restoration project since being constructed in 1935(the first in 1987).

The church was designated the Cathedral for the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 1957, and will begin the interior restoration of the interior by the removal of pews and furnishings to our shop for restoration on January 4th, 2016.

We will keep you updated on our web site during the project where we will be refinishing, modifying and replacing the kneelers with new wood kneelers.

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