HDG Holds Fourth Annual Adopt-a-Landmark Program at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, a National Historic Landmark
May 28, 2019
On Friday, May 17th, the Hayes Design Group Architects (HDG), headquartered in Robinson Township, held our fourth annual company-wide Adopt-a-Landmark program at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, a National Historic Landmark located on Pittsburgh’s North Side. Throughout the day, sixteen HDG employees assisted with work both inside and outside of the church, including a variety of landscaping and cleaning tasks.
HDG’s volunteer work was complementary to on-going restoration at the church. “We appreciate the work, the great spirit you brought to it, and getting to know your group throughout the day,” said Jessie C. Hipolit, Chair, Emmanuel Restoration Project and the church’s volunteer coordinator for the day. “It was perfect timing to coincide with our on-going Emmanuel Restoration Project. With the enormity of need our building has, we need all the help and support we can get. Your work kick-started the end of our overwhelm. Thank you for being genuine servants!”
The firm’s Adopt-a-Landmark program is focused on the important role that the architectural profession can play in honoring local historic landmarks to ensure their upkeep and maintenance so everyone can continue to enjoy the rich local history and culture they provide. It’s no accident that it takes place in May, as it coincides with the national Register of Historic Places’ Preservation Month, a month-long celebration of historic places for the purpose of instilling national and community pride and the benefits of historic preservation.
Maintaining historical landmarks can come with considerable costs, as by definition, many of these buildings are very old. Without local help with funding and upkeep of these beautiful buildings, many of them are in danger of falling into disrepair. “A number of our local historic landmarks are in critical need of volunteers,” stated HDG Principal and Founder, Kevin Hayes, AIA. “We hope our efforts will encourage more companies to do something similar so we can continue to enjoy these treasured landmarks in the future.”
HDG’s company-wide day of service began in 2016, with employees volunteering at one of the most recognized architectural landmarks in the world, Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. In 2017, HDG’s day of service took place at the Woodville Plantation near Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, and last year, the firm volunteered at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, a historic landmark in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, not far from where HDG’s office is located.
The location of this year’s Adopt-a-Landmark program is near the top of the list of architectural and historic significance, as one of only five National Historic Landmarks in Pittsburgh. The Emmanuel Episcopal Church, which opened in 1886, was designed by prominent American architect, H.H. Richardson, and is well-known for its fine brickwork. The structure has received praise by architectural historians as “Pittsburgh’s most important religious building”, and along with the courthouse and jail, also designed by H.H. Richardson, might be considered one of the most important pieces of architecture in the city.
This year’s day of volunteering turned out to be one of the best ones yet, according to Timothy Reidy, AIA LEED Green Associate, Project Architect at HDG. Tim has coordinated HDG’s Adopt-a-Landmark program for the past four years. Each year, he takes it upon himself to research local landmarks in need to help the firm decide where to volunteer. He takes a number of things into consideration, including the overall need, amount and type of work, and proximity to the firm’s office.
Tim had this to say about the amount of work that was provided to the church by this year’s volunteers, “After a week long threat of thunderstorms, mother nature relented and gave us a cool, overcast day, which was perfect for outdoor work. Our team worked from 9:30 until 3:30 pruning, thinning, and relocating shrubs, weeding and cleaning out garden beds, mulching, and fixing brick paving. We cleared the entire rectory roof and gutters of mud and plant growth. We also removed several old and unused pieces of furniture, rolls of carpet, and recycled outdated computers and electronics. Finally, we helped re-arrange the furniture in the Sunday School room and main entrance lobby, and did a full room cleaning of both spaces, including dusting, scrubbing walls and windows, sweeping, and mopping floors. All-in-all, it was an action-packed, but rewarding day.”
More on Past HDG Adopt-a-Landmark Programs: