The Transformation of the Chapel at the Center for Pastoral Leadership

The CPL Chapel stands as a beacon of our ability to respect historical significance while providing modern solutions.

Harrington Contact:

Jerry Strand
[email protected]
(216) 658-2080

TOP PHOTO:  A pre-renovation image of the Chapel at the Center for Pastoral Leadership. ABOVE:  The completed renovation project.  (Photos courtesy of Henninger’s Inc., Brook Park, Ohio)

Lighting the altar reredos and naves.

At Harrington Electric, we take pride in our ability to blend historical preservation with cutting-edge technology, and our latest project at the Center for Pastoral Leadership (CPL) in Wickliffe, Ohio, exemplifies this commitment.

The focal point of the CPL is a 60-year-old, tau-shaped Chapel where daily liturgy is celebrated. Designed to hold 300 people in three distinct naves, the Chapel contains a large altar and a pipe organ, and is enhanced by 26 beautiful stained glass windows.

As the Chapel required a delicate balance of preservation and modernization, the Harrington Electric team worked alongside a host of artisans, carpenters and craftsmen skilled in wood carving, woodworking, marble fabrication, painting, flooring, and pipe organ installation. The result was a complete transformation of the Chapel to its present day beauty.

Harrington Electric’s role (led by our VP of Electrical Construction, Jerry Strand) was to overhaul Chapel’s electrical backbone to supply power, audio, lighting, and various controls required to transform the Chapel into a space that is both technologically advanced and aesthetically respectful of its historical roots. And to do that required nothing less than a few miracles.

An initial component of the project involved an upgrade from existing historical pendant lights to modern, retrofitted LEDs. These fixtures now offer improved efficiency and customizable lighting scenes controlled via an integrated touchscreen system. This setup allows for different moods to be set during various services, enhancing the overall experience for the congregation.

At the back of the sanctuary, the stunning wood carved reredos has been custom-built to highlight the central crucifix. Special lighting was installed to create a focal point that draws the eye and enhances the spiritual ambiance of the space. The sanctuary itself was completely remodeled with handmade custom marble floors and sacristy, providing a serene and majestic environment for worship.

In addition to lighting, the organ chamber received a high-end upgrade. The new sound system ensures that the organ’s rich tones fill the chapel, creating an immersive auditory experience. The integration of advanced AV controls and a custom dimming package means that the sound and lighting can work in harmony to create an atmosphere that is both peaceful and inspiring.

Renovating a structure as old and complex as the CPL Chapel came with its own unique set of challenges. The initial phase involved addressing the outdated lighting controller, a process that took nearly a year due to procurement delays. Additionally, asbestos discovered in the attic of the building called for a six-week abatement project, which temporarily halted progress.

Once back on the job, the Harrington team of Jason Palmer and Nick Felger had to be adaptable, often working at heights of 30 feet to hang lights and manage wiring concealed in hard-to-access areas. Feeding cable through 3-foot-thick concrete walls without hitting rebar was yet another test of precision and expertise.

Other major challenges related to the renovation project involved moving large, heavy material (primarily marble slabs) into the space.  As the Chapel is located on the second floor of the building, workers had to remove one of the large stained glass windows to open up adequate space to bring material into the space.

Further, the rebuilding of the Chapel’s bell tower involved setting up scaffolding around the entire structure for the months-long renovation, then running power and data lines up to the bell tower, a major chore in itself.

Each step of the CPL renovation project required meticulous coordination with the various teams of carpenters, marble makers, and other trades to ensure a seamless workflow and to keep progress moving forward.

“The success of this project can be attributed in part to the collaborative efforts of the Harrington Electric Technology Division, our low-voltage and AV subcontractor,” commented Jerry Strand. “Led by Rich Harrold, the Tech Division was instrumental in bringing this project to fruition.”

Harrington Electric Co. is honored to act as one of the go-to electrical contractors for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, which is a testament to the desire for a high standard of work quality and an ability to meet the needs of the Diocese with precision and care. Because of our commitment to delivering innovative solutions that respect and enhance the architectural and cultural heritage of the spaces we work on, the CPL Chapel now stands as a beacon of our ability to respect historical significance while providing modern solutions.