Preservation   /   University Circle United Methodist Church

University Circle United Methodist Church

Cleveland, Ohio    map
Status: Complete

The University Circle United Methodist Church (UCUMC) asked Westlake Reed Leskosky to redesign the chancel and nave of its historic 1928 church. The original building was designed by Bertram Goodhue in 1925 with the carved wood panelling and furniture of the chancel designed by Irving and Casson.

The existing chancel is raised 42" from the floor of the nave with three rows of choir seating raised up another 18" on either side. It is inaccessible and screened from much of the sanctuary. The layout does not reflect the needs of contemporary religious services which require greater flexibility and openness.

The proposed design from Westlake Reed Leskosky will provide the church with a new chancel that doubles the amount of open floor space currently available to the church. The organ and altar will be on movable platforms, making the entire space flexible for a variety of religious or performance related activities. A new wheelchair lift will make the chancel fully accessible. The door to the lift will be seamlessly integrated into the original wood panelling on the north wall. The floor material will reuse or match the same materials of the original floor. Most of the carved wood panelling will remain or be reused in other parts of the building. Westlake Reed Leskosky will also provide designs to upgrade the lighting and sound systems for the sanctuary.