Friday, August 19, 2011

Where Are the Railings?

A friend of mine who has mobility problems—she generally uses a walker when out and about—observed that the rebuilt steps to the narthex door do not have railings. I had not really thought about this, but, when she mentioned it, I recalled that the plans for the steps that were posted in the undercroft a year ago—without comment, as it turns out—did indeed specify railings.

The issue is not simply an aesthetic one. My friend, for example, can surmount steps by having someone carry her walker and pulling herself up step-by-step using a railing.

Here is what the Mayfair Drive Narthex entrance looks like now (click on the image for a larger view):

New steps sans railing
Railings matching those seen above can be seen on the front stairs:

Railing at main entrance
and on the stairs near the church office:

Railing at entrance near church office
I don’t know if all the railings were installed at the same time, but they match one another well. Here is a detail of the railing at the lower Mayfair Drive entrance:

Railing detail
Below is a detail of the architectural specifications for the reconstructed steps. (The complete design can be seen here.)

Plan for steps (detail)The question, however, is what happened to the railings that were supposed to be installed on the steps to the Narthex door?

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