Convent of the Sacred Heart Chapel
Located at 1 East 91st Street, the Convent of the Sacred Heart occupies the landmark Italian Renaissance-style palazzo designed by C.P.H. Gilbert for financier Otto Kahn in 1917. After acquiring the building in 1933, the school adapted the former Kahn dining room and after-dinner parlor to serve as its chapel by removing areas of the wall between the two rooms. Both rooms were appropriately grand; however, while visually connected, they were distinct in style and character, and the configuration was functionally ineffective. By probing the existing structure and carefully reviewing the original construction drawings for the building, we determined we could make a much more functional chapel by combining the two rooms into one unified space. Our work involved demolishing and rebuilding the parlor to match the dining room. This required a complete restoration of the original ornamental plaster, millwork, and decorative painting finishes of the dining room, as well as the creation of all new finishes in the parlor and installation of new flooring throughout. We also installed new electrical, lighting, and audio systems, a new organ, and custom-designed pews.
Photography by Albert Vecerka | ESTO