Church of the Transfiguration - Lady Chapel

New York, NY

The Church of Transfiguration, also affectionately known as “The Little Church Around the Corner,” holds a significant place in the history of New York City. Founded in 1848, this church was unique for its inclusive ethos, welcoming actors who were often excluded from other places of worship. Over the years, it became a symbol of both religious devotion and acceptance, standing as a historical landmark with a rich, century-old legacy.

In 2023, EverGreene Architectural Arts was invited to return to the Little Church Around the corner to restore the Lady Chapel (previous work includes restoration in the chancel many years ago, and the 2015 restoration of the former baptistry, details here). Working in collaboration with Koutsomitis Architects PC. EverGreene was entrusted to restore the Lady Chapel’s historic murals and mosaic altarpiece. The majority of the restoration process took place on site in the Lady Chapel, however sections of the murals and the mosaics were treated in EverGreene’s Brooklyn Conservation Lab. The murals were water damaged, heavily soiled and had been over-painted (possibly an attempt to minimize the deteriorated appearance). The over-paint covered details and concealed the historic gold leaf background.

EverGreene conservators cleaned the murals, removed the post-historic overpaint, stabilized the original paint, in-painted the areas of loss including missing faces and re-gilded the background, restoring the murals’ intended brilliance. The altar mosaics were cleaned and missing sections in-filled with color-matched, custom cut tesserae. They were re-installed on stable, reversible backing above the altar. These meticulous conservation efforts have ensured that the murals and mosaic will now continue to grace the Lady Chapel and preserve the Church of Transfiguration’s cultural and artistic heritage for the future.