On June 2, 2020, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewed proposals from Trinity Church and Murphy Burnham & Buttrick (MBB) Architects to replace its multi-story stained glass window located above the entrance with a commissioned stained glass window designed by British stained glass artist Thomas Denny. The proposal was approved.
In addition, Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) also granted Trinity Church necessary approvals to modify signage on the grounds of both the historic church and cemetery grounds. This includes digital displays, flagpole signage, and bronze placards.
This proposal is a continuation of the 2018 renovation project, and focuses on deterioration and severe bowling of the metal, small holes and cracks in the stained glass. Denny was chosen through an international competition. His design is intended to convey the mission of Trinity Church, based on the Bible’s ‘Parable of the Talents,’ serving as a constant reminder of the church’s obligation to use the gifts which God has given to them in the service of the greater community. It is also in keeping with the building and existing stained glass throughout Trinity.
The Parable of Talents (Matthew 25.14-30)
“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so, I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scattered? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
The renovation, which began in 2018, is the first comprehensive intervention in over seventy years. This new stained glass window ‘proposes a unique opportunity to reinterpret an Episcopalian tradition of East facing orientation.’
Above is a rendering of the new window. Below is a closeup of the commissioned stained glass by artist Thomas Denny.
Murphy Burnham & Buttrick (MBB) undertook a $12 million dollar historic renovation at Trinity Church in 2018. New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved renovations that included interior repairs, wheelchair/accessible ramps and other updates around the perimeter of the building.
Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects (MBB) has worked on similar projects including St. Paul’s Chapel, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, including its Lady Chapel, and the Cathedral Rectory, and Park Avenue Synagogue, just to name a few.