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Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Parish

Mahwah, NJ

Completed 2021

Located in the rolling hills of northern New Jersey is Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Parish. The present church was dedicated in September of 1931 and, since that time, has successfully served the local Roman Catholic community. The architectural firm of Fanning & Shaw of Paterson, New Jersey designed a church and school complex, complete with all the “modern” conveniences of the time but entirely clad in the glacier worn stone that can be found throughout the region.  This, combined with its large windows and low hipped roof line, give the church and attached school a definite Arts & Crafts feeling while anchoring it strongly to the local vernacular. 

For more than a decade, the current parish community has worked towards a total church interior renovation.  In 2019, Blasi Architecture and MPSB Studios, as a joint venture, provided architecture, interior, ecclesiastical design, and construction administration services for the alteration and renovation.  This extensive church renovation consisted of providing new stair access to the sanctuary, complete alteration of the sanctuary, handicap access elevator to all floors, a confessional, new sacristies, and handicap toilets.

Upon approach, parishioners may use a glass enclosure elevator for personal or coffin access to the sanctuary level; or they may enter the new narthex and take an elegant staircase with Marian decorative rails to the sanctuary level, passing a mid-landing decorated with a Marian statue. The sanctuary level hall provides a view into the nave thru a wide opening adorned with baptismal font, holy oils, and a niche with a statue of St. John the Baptist. The nave has new flooring, pews, decorative wall and radiator paneling, stone wood-framed panels with restored stations of the cross, flanking sanctuary niches with antique statuary of Mary and Joseph. Most dramatically, the ceiling has been removed, exposing existing wood trusses.  Stained wood ceiling boards have been installed between the trusses, and new task, architectural, and decorative lighting has been added. 

A dormer has been constructed to create a coffered arched ceiling at the sanctuary. A new altar and ambo have been custom designed and built. The existing choir loft has been renovated providing a beadboard ceiling, new lighting, and stepped floor platforms for visual access to the sanctuary. New sacristies and confessionals have been designed for modern needs while matching the detail of the entire renovation.  The project also entailed a complete heating and air conditioning system upgrade, audiovisual system, and church bell ringing modernization. This project has transformed every surface of the original entry, nave, and sanctuary.  The intent has been to provide the interior experience with the same elegance and grace of the existing exterior architecture. 

Design & Implementation Team

Architect of Record

Blasi Architecture

General Contracting

Malanga Construction

Interior Design

MPSB Architectural Design Studio

Millwork

Alpine Woodworking