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Church of the Incarnation

Highlands, North Carolina


The Church of Incarnation is a Carpenter Gothic style Episcopalian Church client that contracted J. Davis to update their sanctuary and open spaces. The project required updating and preserving the original late-19th century building, reworking stained glass, adding a new bathroom, and upgrading all the finishes from wainscotting to ceiling beams, and installing new hardwood flooring over a 45,000 SF project. The existing Jones Hall area and sanctuary from 2002 needed total reworks, including all the staircases. The new woodwork was made from handcrafted, quarter-sawn white oak that came from the Dominican Republic because of the intense woodworking required for the liturgical arts. Interior wood doors are 2 ¼ in. thick white oak, custom-made, and the lower lobby features a fireplace with gas logs. The new sanctuary included new 1’ thick Spanish floor tile, featuring patterned mosaic designs, all new woodwork for the altar, choir, and lower lobby area from floor to ceiling.  

      The painting was done by the renowned John Canning Company, a Connecticut-based paint co. that is focused on the liturgical needs of churches, providing all the sanctuary painting for the walls and ceiling, featuring gold-leaf paint on the vertical battens on the ceiling. The stained-glass windows are Marvin architectural windows featuring leaded glass, that also has obscured glass to let light in. Some existing stained-glass windows of the earlier sanctuary were backlit to emulate natural light. This required cutting the existing wall and placing the lighting into recessed boxes to allow for operation and replaceability.  
      A new belltower addition was also a part of the project. At 80 feet high, featuring concrete, structural steel, four bronze-cast bells, and a copper roof, it was no easy task at hand. This required J. Davis to build a concrete deck to place the bells before installation of the steeple cap, to support the bell frame and the bells. MEP services were added to all locations, and piers were installed at a variety of depths from 20 to 55 feet at approximately 30 locations inside and out of the building. The foundations were created for the two-story support, and for the bell tower inside. Lastly, we created a fifth street entrance consisting of post and beam style woodwork with a powder-coated steel shingled roof. Bluestone pavers, curbstone steps, and a winding bluestone garden pathway invite people into the church. The exterior featured new moldings from PVC to meet the Gothic architecture standards for joinery.