Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception Lourdes Grotto and Candle Shrine
The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception established a monastery in Stockbridge in the 1940s on 200 acres with magnificent views of the Berkshire mountains. The Fathers built one of 14 national Catholic shrines that exist today. They also built a grotto for outdoor worship in the lower recesses of the hill below the shrine.
The challenge was to create three distinct indoor chapels for reflection and for the lighting of 2,000 commemorative candles in each chapel, while defining the sacred area around the existing grotto. The semi-circular wall defines the outside edge of the grotto precinct, shields the area from a nearby road, and provides a backdrop for worship. The site of the candle shrine also makes use of an existing stand of pine trees and supplements the landscape with new paths and plant material.
RGB returned to provide infrastructure improvements on the property. The road that stretches from the Pine and Vine Street intersection to the rebuilt Eden Hill Recreation Center. A small existing bridge that spans a creek over the road was reconstructed with a precast concrete bottomless box culvert with stone abutments to reflect the character of the former bridge abutments. A detention basin for stormwater runoff was designed and constructed downhill from the two parking lots. A fire suppression system was designed for the property, which feeds fire hydrants and sprinkler systems in several Eden Hill buildings. A port-a-dam was utilized to permit the construction of a fire pump intake structure and concrete pad in the existing fire pond.