The Keck Group was recently commissioned to restore the pews, kneelers and pew cushions in Historic St. Mary’s Church in Albany, the capital of NY State.
Besides being frequented often by the Governor, St. Mary’s is the second oldest Catholic Parish in the state of NY, preceded only by St. Peters on Barclay Street in Manhattan, next to the World Trade Center. We also restored the pews in St. Peters in 2001 after a landing gear from one of the planes came through the roof on 9/11.
We got a frantic call from Fr. Michael Flannery one day as the country was shutting down from the pandemic in early March that the previous pastor had hired a finishing company to redo the pews, and they were getting ruined. As it turned out, we had restored these pews in 1997, and were familiar with their requirements.
Since the pews are painted and hand grained, it required all our finishing skills to redo, completely, the right wall section which the contractor had painted brown. This is what prompted Fr. Flannery’s call.
We are nearing completion of re-graining all the pews in the church by one of our talented artists, Robert Ripley. The first step was to cover the ugly brown base coat with a much lighter base in which to re-grain. See the attached pictures showing the graining progression.