The Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Institutional Restoration/Stewardship Award, 179 Academy Avenue, Valley
Designed to be an “ideal” Catholic Church by Heins and LaFarge, The Church of the Blessed Sacrament had fallen victim to neglect and harsh weather. The bell tower had suffered significant structural damage while external masonry had been weathered over the years. In addition, the interior of the church was in need of new lighting and fire alarm systems. Lerner Ladds And Bartels executed an interior and exterior renovation of the structure with help from Graham Builders, Frank Shatz & CO., and E.F. O’Donnell And Sons. The restoration of the bell tower and other exterior surfaces saved Blessed Sacrament from severe structural damage, while a new fire-prevention system brought the building up to current fire codes. However, it is the sensitive restoration of the interior that truly highlights the amazing historic fabric of the space. The new lighting is spectacular without being ostentatious and invasive—rather than drawing attention to itself, the fiber optic lighting highlights the inherent beauty of the structure, architectural details, and numerous murals, making it seem to glow from within. Its grandeur restored, Blessed Sacrament now stands as one of the most visually stunning spaces in Providence.