Cathedral Church of St Luke

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Civic & Cultural Projects   Cathedral Church of St Luke | Portland, ME

LachmanArchitectsStLukesPicture3The Cathedral Church of St Luke is a much loved and used beautiful sacred space that is growing in numbers and presence in the community. Since the first service held on Christmas Day 1868, the campus and its buildings have been evolving and adapting to needs and expectation of users and their times. Along the way many incremental (but not necessarily thoughtful) changes caused the once clearly organized campus to become inefficient, confusing and disorienting, for both regular users and first time visitors. The buildings are large and there is ample usable area. However some of this ample area is poorly located, much is inefficiently used and all is poorly connected. The resulting campus physically compromises St Luke’s potential to become one of Portland’s leading 21st century community churches.

Phased Approach
The project has evolved through several phases as goals, challenges and opportunities became better understood.

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Phase 1: 2014-Campus Master Plan Concept

The vestry sought assistance from Lachman Architects & Planners for Phase 1, to guide the community through a process of discovery, dreaming, and discernment. The end-product was a thorough Campus Master Plan Concept which re-envisioned ways in which the campus and buildings can better support its mission. Specifically, this Master Plan seeks to reinvigorate the campus with physical clarity, efficient function and spiritual purpose. It is roadmap toward the future. Because this Master Plan is a broadly supported “road map” toward the future, it allows St Luke’s community to align behind a unified concept, to proceed on a shared path, and to focus precious financial and human resources for a common purpose.

Phase 2: 2015-Implementation Plan


The community’s capacity to meet the concept budget was tested by a Fundraising Capacity Study, and found to be accomplishable. With fundraising capacity projected, the vestry again sought assistance from Lachman Architects & Planners to guide the Implementation Committee through Phase 2 – an Implementation Plan, with general objectives to:

  • reconcile and integrate the overall Master Plan Concept with financial realities and community interests;
  • help make the case for fundraising;
  • set the stage for implementation.

Specifically, the purpose of the Implementation Plan was to study, understand and evaluate which physical projects, at which physical locations and in which sequence:

  • are optimal – considering first costs, limited resources, bang for buck, community support, long term flexibility;
  • will support, rather than limit, future implementation of the Master Plan Concept;
  • might balance necessary but low profile or hidden stage-setting projects with higher profile projects and community support.