Deep in Construction Mode
Patience is a virtue. This is a lesson you can’t learn too early or too often—especially when it comes to construction projects, and most especially in New York City. We’re learning it again now that the work is in full swing to upgrade the engineering systems that surround and support Nevelson Chapel.
As frustrating as delays can be, they also present opportunities to reflect. In this case, we’re reminded that what is behind the scenes and under the surface of any space may have its own life, replete with complexities. We’ve known from the beginning of this project that the lighting, heating and air conditioning systems would need to be addressed in order to ensure that the restoration of the Chapel could be maintained over the long term. We could not have known the level of effort that would take until work began.
This is a long way of saying that the construction work will take longer than expected. We’re now anticipating a summer construction completion with cautious optimism. After we have had time for the new HVAC and lighting systems to calibrate, we will move again into conservation of the art. At first, we were discouraged. But it has occurred to us that the need for this work is no less critical than originally thought. In fact, the need was even more extreme than could be anticipated.
In this moment, we pause to notice what it feels like to wait. To those of you who understand and value the importance of doing the hard, unglamorous work of digging into the vital, if hidden workings below the surface that make it possible for beauty and peace to be sustained, we appreciate your continued interest and support of this work. While we await the opportunity to share once again the unique environment of the Chapel, we content ourselves in knowing the work that is happening is necessary.
We see this as nothing short of a metaphor for life. Communities, partners, every one of us can only maintain the level of serenity and centeredness that is supported by addressing what lies beneath the surface. As always, Nevelson Chapel is relating to the human experience and giving us new insights, even while it’s encased in protective covering and under construction.