Community Bridge Project

The Community Bridge, our much-needed ADA access ramp into the Narthex. We invite you help build the Community Bridge, helping Emmanuel to open its doors even wider to the whole community.

At Emmanuel, we are reclaiming our founder, Natalie Bayard Brown’s, vision of a community center open to all people from all places in all seasons. We can express our hospitality and welcome by providing universal access, so that everyone comes in the same door the same way, whether on two feet or with a cane, crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair, for Soup’s On, Newport Classical Chamber Series concerts, worship, or community meetings and events.

With the design and drawing (link to PDF of drawing) help from Salve Regina historical preservation students this Spring, we got our early vision for the Community Bridge on paper, so that we could begin to put together a preliminary budget and start raising funds for this universal access to life at Emmanuel. First, there is efficiency in combining the final phase of the dry well project with the Community Bridge. The last hookup into the system is from the roof valley at the corner of the Narthex and the Library in the direction of the current walk to the Narthex steps. This area will be graded and built up with a foundation, rising at the required one foot of rise per 12 feet of distance until the path reaches the height of the Narthex. There will be a 5’x5’ landing at the top outside the Narthex door, with rails for safety at the beginning of the incline on the path, which will start at about the beginning of the welcome sign in the garden to the right of the path, following the general shape of the existing path and maintaining the gentle curve and rise of Emmanuel’s existing entry.

Preliminary estimates for the completion of the dry well connection and construction of the Community Bridge are $68,000 to $75,000, including the iron rails required. This estimate is appreciably less than the cost of access ramps at other churches and historical buildings in Newport, and also has the advantage of maintaining to the greatest extent possible the familiar and beloved appearance of Emmanuel’s walkway and dovetailing with the necessary dry well project for environmental and construction efficiency and cost savings. We invite you help build the Community Bridge with your donations, helping Emmanuel to open its doors even wider to the whole community. We share our home, building a vibrant and loving community.

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