West Cummington Church Reopens
On December 2, 2012, the bell rang to call the congregants of the West Cummington Congregational Church (WCCC) up the hill to a new spiritual home. Their beloved old church, erected in 1839, burned on a frigid evening in January of 2010. Determined to rebuild, the congregation hired Kent as general contractor to collaborate with Architect Bruce Wood. Together they built a new place for worship, one to last for centuries.
Structural integrity is key to longevity, so every element of the building was evaluated. Conrad Liebenow, a retired engineer, and Clerk of the Works at WCCC, spent innumerable hours researching and locating quality materials that would last through the ages. From the species of wood used for the sheathing, to the special order, Canadian, stainless steel plates connecting the trusses, no detail was too small.
Thanks to the tight construction and thick insulation in the roof and walls, those who worship in the simple shaker style pews will be warm in winter and cool in summer. Bruce Wood also paid close attention to the parishioner’s aesthetic experience by replicating the quality of light and sound they loved in the intimate space of the old church. Yet he also added new features – a vaulted ceiling and a large window facing out back up the mountain – for a congregation that embraces the past while looking toward the future.