WSDG completed a major renovation project for Crossroads Tabernacle and Boden Center for The Performing Arts, a prominent inner-city church located in The Bronx, NY. The facility includes a state-of-the-art audio and video production studio (Studio On The Hill), and a completely refurbished 800 seat theater for worship, concerts, dramas, and outreach events. The restoration, which also includes new administrative facilities and a children’s educational wing, was completed in 2002.
The control room and studio area of the facility can operate completely independent of the theater, or tie into performances as needed to capture live recordings. The seating area within the theater area is completely flexible and seating can be modularly removed for different events as needed by the church. Since the facility lies in the middle of the Bronx, special consideration was given to isolation for the facility to eliminate noise from the outside, but also to isolate the auditorium environment from the control room/studio environment that is adjacent to it.
The 1,000+ square-foot studio houses three isolation booths, and a control room equipped with a Sony R100 digital console. «We installed variable acoustic panels (solid wood on the outside and 2-inch-thick, fabric-covered insulation on the inside) on the back wall of the studio to facilitate changes in the room’s reverberation time with minimal effort,» explains WSDG principal architect John Storyk.
A versatile musician from an early age, Reverend Joseph Henry Cortese, who was recently appointed pastor of Crossroads Tabernacle, plans to use the new studio for writing, producing and recording contemporary religious music and to webcast his weekly radio show. The room is also geared for desktop video post production. Once an old marquee theater, the sanctuary, where services and community events are held, is currently receiving an extensive facelift. Both a new stage and fixed-tier seating have been incorporated into the design. «John Storyk has an exceptional reputation, and when I was advised to bring in the best, we called him,» Cortese says. «The WSDG team has come up with some wonderful design ideas. Beth Walters developed an interior motif that will provide Crossroads’ parishioners with a warm and inspirational environment. WSDG has also been very creative in terms of working with our budget. The classrooms are already functioning, the studio is almost complete, and we can’t wait until the sanctuary is open. This is a most exciting time for us.»
With a growing congregation of more than 1000 members, Cortese and the Crossroads Tabernacle are committed to the community: «The Boden Center for the Performing Arts is our neighborhood outreach program,» he comments. «It’s been the dream of our founder, Reverend Aimee Cortese, to build a children’s music academy/latchkey program (with music, dance, drama and other performing arts).»