second large interior space has a dramatic impact on may events. It enables a transition from a ceremony to a reception space, among other benefits. Knowing this we paid special attention to what would become Little Bird Lounge. And if you're curious about the origin of the name, it was named after the one and only Ellery, our daughter who we call Little Bird.
Little Bird Lounge comprised five rooms and a hallway of the church, all of which were added to the original 1889 structure in 1915. These room were the minister's office, an administrative office, lounge, stage entry, and closet and hallway. The original brick structure, ceiling, and floors were completely hidden as seen in the following pictures.
Issues & Plan
The challenges posed by Little Bird Lounge may have been the largest of the entire project. Combining five rooms into a coherent, open floor plan posed significant structural as well as design issues. Access to the outdoors, Adelaide Hall and even Hathorne restaurant (the old Memorial Hall of the church) had to be reconfigured. And then there were the surprises such as the back brick wall which nearly toppled into the alley.
After removing the interior partition walls, carpet, and ceiling tiles, we were left with the original brick perimeter walls. We were particularly excited to find the rounded brick that framed the alley windows. The back wall was strapped to the ceiling trussed for stability. The concrete slurry on the wall was chipped away by hand and the residual concrete blasted with baking powder so as not to damage the brick. Original windows that had been filled with rubble and concrete were excavated and restored. To address a significant brick variation in the bricks that were never intended to be exposed, we added a wainscoting of black paint.
We enlarged an entryway into Adelaide Hall and created an identical entry on the opposite side of the pipe organ for symmetry. Upon removal of the concrete wall slurry, we discovered that the existing doorway into the lounge had previously been a window before the addition and we restored the doorway to its original window design.
In order to diffuse the natural light from the north (alley), we replaced the sashed windows with solid panes of frosted glass covered by gold screens with our Venetian Cross pattern. The windows on the east and west that were also revealed when the concrete wall slurry was removed, received the same screen treatment but were backlit with lighting that may be any color.
The low, suspended office tile ceiling, once removed, revealed a sloping, wedge shape. To achieve maximum ceiling height, we insulated the roof above and exposed the existing trussing, which we painted black in part to conceal mechanical systems.
Functionally, we added a 20-foot long black marble bar, five bistro tables wrapping the new structural columns, and replaced the service door to the pipe organ with a large black steel and glass window. All stone seating and counters throughout Clementine match the bar counter material. The hallway to Hathorne was sealed at the insistence of the fire marshall, and the entry from the outdoors doubled in size and the single solid door replaced with black steel and opaque glass doors. Doors into Adelaide Hall are 10-feet tall and made of walnut with inlaid brass.
The thin plank pine flooring was overlayed with wide panel hickory and stained to match the original wood color.
Two original stained glass widows were unearthed and striped of their paint. They are now backlit and provide a dash of color.
Little Bird Lounge was finished with gold pained birds on the wall, and in 2023 a murmur of gold birds were added to the inside of the organ by Ellery herself.
Today, Little Bird Lounge is an approximately 2,500 sf room that feels much more intimate due to the colors, materials, sloping and textured ceiling and non-boxy footprint. The lounge serves many purposes but food and beverage always factor in prominently.