Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Built in 1906, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral is a historic church in Portland’s Alphabet District. The congregation asked Waterleaf to help achieve their goal of opening up a prominent point of access to the cathedral for people of all abilities. The solution required modifications to the entry steps leading from the primary sidewalk to the courtyard entries of the cathedral. The design needed to seamlessly integrate an accessible ramp into the original basalt stone walls. Additionally, a ramp was added and stairs reconfigured to the arcade at the west end of the courtyard to make not only the cathedral, but also the church office and Kempton Hall accessible. Three sets of wood entry doors in the arcade were replaced and made barrier free with ADA auto-operators.
Stone masonry and grout tooling were carefully considered to create a seamless match with the adjacent original walls. The design integrates new LED lighting technology into the handrails, leaving the stone free of interruptions and preserving the historic appearance of the stonework.
The start and end points are designed to be in the same proximity for both the accessible and staircase paths promoting the principles of Universal Design and allowing people of all abilities to join together in a direct and inclusive manner. The new scheme makes the campus more accessible and visually connects the courtyard to the street level providing a more welcoming experience for all.