All Souls Episcopal Church grew out of the post Katrina efforts of churches throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana and the national Episcopal Church to provide relief, cleaning supplies, food, clothing, clean water, medical assistance, and spiritual counseling to returning residents. The church has grown from a tiny group meeting in a garage to the present location in a former Walgreens. The Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, dedicated the worship facility in September 2007.
The church community sought to rehabilitate and transform the physical space of the former Walgreens at 5500 St. Claude Avenue into a unique and dynamic church and community center with the assistance of generous donations and hundreds of volunteers from around the world in order to serve more effectively as a locus of inspiration, hope, and faith within the greater New Orleans area and to continue its mission of facilitating volunteers who live within the area and those who offer their services throughout the nation.
The design of the Church was a collaborative venture of John Williams Architecture, LLC., Tulane City Center, and RuffWorks Studio. The design of the community center portion of the building was the work of John Williams Architecture LLC. The adaptive reuse of the facility was planned in two phases: phase one, the redesign of the interior, with an emphasis on the completion of the sanctuary and altar, and phase two, the redesign of the exterior of the building.
In the Spring of 2010, Scott Ruff led combined groups of community volunteers, national volunteers, and Tulane School of Architecture students in the design and building of the altar, which serves as the architectural and spiritual focal point of the sanctuary. The design utilizes reclaimed wood from deconstructed houses in the Lower Ninth Ward as the primary construction material.
Research and Design:
Judith Kinnard, FAIA, design consultant
Alexandra Bojarski-Stauffer, TCC intern
James Ball, student volunteer
Stephen Baker, student volunteer
Devon Reynolds, student volunteer
Ryan Keszczyk, student volunteer
Xiaoyun Li, student volunteer
Amelia Steelman, student volunteer
R.S. Homes, construction consulting
C+G Construction, construction consulting
Jason Levy, TCC intern
Andrew Graham, TCC intern
Jarelle Carriere, RW S intern