What do heavy wooden doors, steep stairs and wobbly handrails say about a downtown church such as The Church of St John the Evangelist? The congregation realized they wanted to change their message to the surrounding community by transforming the exterior of their building to say “Welcome and please come in” . They named their vision “The Open Doors Project” and brought it to MCROBIE Architects + Interior Designers with a limited budget. The goals of the project were broad but with our help a great transformation is taking place to convey the open and inviting spirit of St John’s. The red-painted doors on Elgin Street and the inner doors at the narthex are being replaced with glass doors and sidelights to create a direct view into the beautiful and historic nave. The Elgin Street steps have been broadened and enhanced by graceful handrails, while access for people with reduced mobility was addressed by a new ramp integrated into the landscaping at the Somerset Street door under the bell tower. Construction is on-going and we’ll soon have updates on surprising discoveries in the walls, the narthex metamorphosis and inventive repurposing of old door hardware.