The new Gerhart Hall at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 601 Meander St., is almost ready to open. Members and friends of the church got a sneak preview Sept. 9. A community open house will be held in December, but the new parish hall will be open before then. Photos and video by Loretta Fulton
Members and friends of the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meander St., got a taste Sept. 9 of what life will be like in their new parish hall when it is ready for use.
A sneak preview was held the evening of Sept. 9 and a community open house will be held in December. But the new Gerhart Hall, named for the late Willis “Parson” Gerhart, rector of the church from 1920 to 1957, will be ready for use as a parish hall before then.
Guests at the preview heard from various speakers, including Russell Windham of the Houston architectural firm that designed the building, Curtis & Windham Architects, Inc.
What they heard left everyone beaming.
“Architecture is really just the manifestation of the spirit of the people who build it,” Windham said.
The gothic design, which matches perfectly with the main church structure, is not only a work of art, but also beautiful parish hall that will serve church members well into the future. The new facility contains several antiques such as a 19th century Gothic hall bench, an antique French oak buffet, and an 18th century Portuguese tile mural.
The mural, “The Adoration of the Magi,” depicts the Three Kings offering their treasures to Jesus with his mother the Virgin Mary and Mary’s husband Joseph. The rare Azulejo mural was a gift from a parishoner.
Windham, one of the architects, wrapped up his presentation with a quote from his favorite person to quote, Winston Churchill. As always, Churchill’s comment was perfect for the occasion:
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”