Dominating the corner of Manhattan’s 53rd Street and 5th Avenue for more than one hundred years, St. Thomas Church is an awe-inspiring sight. Its imposing High French Gothic styling, massive stained glass windows and more than sixty intricate reredos (decorative altar pieces) beckon to parishioners, passersby and tourists alike. When an electrical fire prompted a review and upgrade of the lighting and lighting control systems in this historic structure, St. Thomas Church knew exactly who to call. For nearly two decades, architectural lighting design firm Renfro Design Group (RDG) has partnered on projects with St. Thomas Church. RDG was recently invited back to relight the massive church, and veteran lighting designer Sarah Randall was tapped to lead the delicate project.
1. Highlight altarpiece details
2. Provide preset lighting scenes to complement the church’s wide variety of events, including a magical holiday service
3. Simplify maintenance and improve the energy efficiency of the lighting system
4. Improve light quality to create the mood of a sacred space for parishioners
5. Preserve and honor the space’s historical, spiritual, and introspective ambience