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St. Nicholas Byzantine Church in Perryopolis showing off its renovations

| Friday, Dec. 11, 2009

St. Nicholas Byzantine Church in Perryopolis is nearly 100 years old.

And it recently underwent a major renovation project.

These renovations will be showcased on Sunday when the church holds an open house, inviting the public to come and see the changes.

"It's a major change — people can't believe it," said Carol Ann Hamilla, secretary of the Ladies Altar Society for St. Nicholas Byzantine Church.

The church is located along Railroad Street.

Renovations were performed on the outside of the church about five years ago, said Hamilla.

And once those were completed, church members knew the national landmark needed renovations inside as well.

The church paid for the outside renovations with a loan from the Catholic Diocese.

That loan has been paid off over the past several years.

To pay for interior renovations, church members held a number of fundraisers, including spaghetti dinners, cookie sales, ticket sales and more.

On Oct. 6, Mary Birkos, an artist from Uniontown, and her three assistants, spent six weeks painting everything around the altar and the rest of the chapel including outlining the existing murals on the ceiling and walls, giving the ceiling a light-blue look to appear as the sky, a fresh coat of paint on all the walls and a paint job in certain areas to give the look that marble panels have been installed.

"This makes everything stand out so nice," said the Rev. Robert Halus, pastor of the church.

All the candles in the front of the church have been replaced with electric light and the chandelier, which is as old as the church, was cleaned and has been restored to its crystal-clear appearance.

The open house will be held noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.

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