GNCB Consulting Engineers of Old Saybrook is working on design and bid documents for a $2.6 million rehabilitation of Hall Memorial Chapel.
The Chapel, a beautiful granite building in the modern Gothic style with a distinctive red slate roof, is in dire need of repair. Most notably, the end gable walls are pulling away from the structure and the spire is in danger of failing.
It is not overstating the problem to say that without significant work, Hall Chapel will be lost.
Architect Robert Wakeman Hill completed Hall Chapel in 1885 with funds donated by Samuel Hall, who also was a major contributor to the Trinity Episcopal Church on Prospect Street which which was razed in 2018. Riverside is working hard to make sure Hall Chapel can be saved.
The State Historic Preservation Office last year awarded the cemetery a $20,000 survey and planning grant to help fund the engineering work.
Recently, GNCB estimated it will cost about $1.5 million to remove the steeple, and shore up the north and east gable walls. It is estimated to cost another $1.1 million to stabilize the south and west gable walls, repair the exterior masonry and replace the roof; bringing the total cost to about $2.6 million.
This work can be done in phases as can future work to repair the windows and exterior trim, and any interior renovations that are needed.
The Cemetery will launch a major fundraising campaign to support this work as well as seek state, federal and private grants.