Skylight Project #4664

Cranston, RI, US

Project Details

  • Model Retractable Roofing - RRP
  • Size 31'9" x 55'
  • Rhode Island church turned into a fine dining experience, featuring a retractable skylight system on their back patio

Skylight Project #4664

Just on the outskirts of Providence, Rhode Island, nestled in the historic hilltop village of Cranston sits a 120 year old stone chapel.  Built in 1891 as part of Rhode Island’s Sockanasset School for Boys, even the young attendants of the school sacrificed their energy and time to aid in the development this scenic structure.  “The bricks, stone and mortar, as well as the woodwork, bear silent testimony to the benefits of honest labor” proclaims the location website.  Indeed, the place exudes character and history as if every stone, brick, and piece of wood was hewn, mortared, or laid by hand.

It features everything a historic stone chapel in New England should – leaded windows, stone hearth and walls, a bell tower, beautiful internal woodwork, alcove candle-lighting, hearth-style cuisine and a fully stocked bar with color-changing onyx bar top …  Yes, you read that right.  The chapel is a historic jewel as well as the home of one Rhode Island’s finest dining establishments.  The Cathedral Bar and Chapel Grille feature culinary art that matches its surroundings in beauty and ambiance.  It’s the kind of place you’d take your wife to celebrate your big anniversary, or plan a private dining experience for those business associates you really want to impress.  It’s not exactly the type of place you’d expect to find our “space-age” retractable skylights, ceilings and walls…

Oh, contraire, my friend!  It is precisely the kind of place for one of our structures, and possibly one of the most creative and beautifully historic-integrations in our portfolio.


Designing a historical site to include a retractable structure that meets the needs of the state and local historical agencies, as well as blending into and improving upon the vision and ambiance is a significant creative challenge.  While the lower level would become the prep kitchen, and the main level and mezzanine became dining areas, additional dining space was needed.  What better place to enjoy a locally foraged and exquisitely prepared meal than on the patios overlooking the scenic Providence skyline.  To increase the usability of patio-space during inclement weather, retractable walls and a retractable roof system from Libart were incorporated into the design.

Custom railing systems of clear glass, bronze fittings, and custom oak handrails blend into the atmosphere while allowing for unobstructed views, while custom lighting, art and murals depict the historical importance of the setting and creatively conceal the functional requirements and infrastructural components.  With a little creative design and some custom finishing touches, the partnership of old and new can be match made in heaven…  Or, in this case at least, the chapel!


18 bays, 16 mm Solar Control Grey, Motorized operation


Posted on

October 28, 2013