Weaving the Web: A New Coat of Paint

Dear UUCPA folks,

We divide our budget up into two parts: the operating budget, which we raise each year and from which we pay staff, buy supplies, pay utilities, and so on; and the capital budget, largely funded by bequests over many years, from which we fund the care of our beautiful buildings and gardens. The building–or buildings, since the UUCPA campus comprises seven–was designed by Joseph Esherick, a master of mid-century modern design. Thanks to generous giving and careful, socially-responsible investment, we have enough money in the capital budget to make the repairs and maintenance that all buildings require on a regular basis, even those that are not over 60 years old. And thanks to some fantastic volunteers and our church administrator, Jeff Cashdollar, one of these projects is now underway: repainting!

Back in the fall of 2019, several of us met with an architect from EHDD, the San Francisco firm founded by Esherick, to get their advice on how best to repair and replace the characteristic rafter tails of UUCPA’s buildings and covered walkways. We took her advice and the rafter tails look terrific. While she was here, we asked if there were anything we should consider as we chose colors for our upcoming repainting, and she advised that we could remain within the palette of this style of architecture and still have many options that say “2021” instead of “1960.”

That was the balance we wanted as well: respectful of history, and contemporary. Amy Finch, working with Lynn Grant and Eleanor Lin of the Aesthetics Committee, sampled lots of colors that fit both of these criteria.

The winner was this warm gray:

Additionally, Amy, Lynn and Eleanor proposed a lovely idea: the doors of each building will have one solid, bright color. For example, the Fireside Room doors might all be green, the doors of the “ministers’ wing” (Rooms A-D) all purple, and so on, one color per building. This not only adds a sprinkling of cheery colors around our campus, but makes it far easier for new UUCPAers to find their way to the right building. The Board enthusiastically endorsed the repainting plan.

Barbara Smith-Thomas and others on the Building and Grounds Committee collected bids and chose a painting contractor. Then we waited for our chosen paints to make it through the slowed-down supply chain. Finally the day arrived; Buildings & Grounds folks moved the temporary fencing to give the painters access; and on Tuesday morning of this week, Jeff Cashdollar and Barbara arrived to help them get started. The painters were raring to go at 8 a.m., which meant an early morning for our energetic folks. It’s good to have a coffee shop right across the street.

They will be working Monday through Friday, 8-4, for several weeks, beginning with the Main Hall and ending with the painting of the doors in, most likely, early March.

First comes the power washing:

The Main Hall looks so good after its intense shower! The cleaning also makes it very clear which little spots were just dust and cobwebs, and which ones need scraping and patching. The painters are now up on the roofs, on ladders, and working with extra-long roller brushes to take care of those.

I hear tell that they will be applying new paint to the driveway side of the Main Hall within the next few days. For a sneak peek at the paint job so far, come in person on Sunday, January 30, to pick up your stewardship packet! More on that soon . . .



P.S. For more fascinating information on the design and use of our buildings, watch Dan Harper’s 75th Anniversary class on the topic.