Dormition of the Virgin Mary Somerville, MA
Since 2018 SSV has been involved with an ongoing project to renovate a Greek Orthodox church that met the basic requirements for the congregation for many years but had deteriorated from weathering and
requires complete renovation. The building is an amalgam of a 1924 Elks Hall with a 1966 social hall addition, and SSV’s approach is to unify these
buildings with a Byzantine-inspired design that recalls the congregation’s Greek roots while taking advantage of the opportunity to meet the challenges of reorganizing the building for contemporary uses.
A domed tower conceals an elevator to address overdue accessibility challenges, but also gives bold expression to a long-sought desire for a belfry. Not least among the committee’s expressed concerns was a desire to renovate the worship space in ways that are both inspiring and supportive of the liturgy. The solea is to be lowered to the same level as the nave and finishes will be upgraded to accentuate the modifications. Another component of the project addresses the social hall, updating the space to make it a better income-generating rental hall that can also support the needs of the congregation. Construction is ongoing.