The Kitchen and Lift Project at the Danish Lutheran Church of Vancouver, B.C.

For years we have struggled with these three problems:

  1. Our kitchen does not conform to current standards. We serve many meals, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, out of our kitchen, and these are important to us both as cultural and social events and as fund raisers.
  2. We need more storage. We are actually remarkably good at using our space efficiently: the carts under the stage utilise that space completely, and that we can run our bazaar and rummage sales out of the closet sized room that goes by the name of Nursery is no small miracle. However, the only storage space left is the bell tower, and hauling things up and down the stairs is rather too arduous.
  3. We need an elevator or lift to connect the Sanctuary with coffee downstairs. Pushing a wheelchair or walker around the building, down the parking lot, and in through the back door is possible but unpleasant in rain or snow.

We then took a hard look at the kitchen problem. We considered rearranging cupboards, moving interior walls, every possible renovation plan. Every idea came up short. Realising that no renovation, however grand, would be sufficient led us to conclude that an expansion beyond our current walls is the only way to go.

Plan for the new kitchen and lift, downstairs Expansion allows us to solve all three problems in one frighteningly large project: Outside our current kitchen and around the corner under our front entrance we will excavate and build a second kitchen and a large new storage room. We will move dishwashing to the new kitchen and use the old kitchen for cooking only. This is obviously more hygienic and allows better traffic flow when we bring food out to the Church Hall and dirty dishes back for washing. The new storage room will allow us to install a lift in the small storage room that now contains the freezer.

Plan for the new kitchen and lift, upstairs Upstairs the lift will take a bite out of the Sanctuary: the northern half of the back wall (with the picture of H.R.H. Prince Henrik) will move a few feet in to line up with the overhang. We will lose one pew in the north side and the historical display cabinet in the narthex.

A general meeting on Sunday, July 25th, 2010, decided to split the project in three phases and to go ahead with Phase One: Excavating and building the base building.

Phase One: Excavating and building the base building

With all the permits finally in place, our contractor finally began excavating on November 22nd, 2010.

Removing the old front steps Removing the bushes at the south west corner of the church Truck, pile of dirt, and an excavator Jelling Stenen on its side Working with a pneumatic drill on a big rock in the hole in front of our front door A big hole in the ground in front of our front door A excavation continues on the south side of the church Getting ready to pour the cement The project from the south on a rainy day The footings are in Another big rock next to our fallen Jelling Stone The footings are in Walls Piles of dirt on the front lawn Hoisting something into our new kitchen extension Gravel and machines in our parking lot Walls Our kitchen extension and new storage is now all enclosed in concrete A bridge allows access to our front door The bridge seen from inside our front door Preparing to pour the cement for the new walkway to our front door Pastor Toftdahl in the raw kitchen extension The new storage room The new look from the south side The main entrance is now flanked by flowers and small bushes

We gratefully acknowledge financial support for this project from

We are also grateful for our contractor, Kerkhoff Construction Ldt. We have been very happy with the process, and we are equally happy with the result.

Phase Two: The lift

A General Meeting on September 11th, 2011, decided to go ahead with Phase Two and to allow the Board to continue finishing the new kitchen (Phase Three) at whichever rate finances allow.

Building the elevator shaft seen from the Sanctuary Building the elevator shaft seen from the Narthex where the historical display case was Building the elevator shaft seen from downstairs Building the elevator shaft seen from the Church Hall Building the elevator shaft seen from downstairs Building the elevator shaft seen from the Narthex Looking down the unfinished elevator shaft Thank you Larry, for all your work building the elevator shaft. The elevator itself is in; now we need the finishing

Phase Three: Finishing the new kitchen, moving and replacing appliances, etc

Our new kitchen on Maundy Thursday, 2012 Our new kitchen. Drywall is in, the ventilation system is on its way Shelving is in place in the new storage room

Cutting the floor in the Church Hall A trench has been dug in the Church Hall
Connecting the drains in our new kitchen to our existing plumbing turned out to be more involved than originally imagined.

The trench continues into the old kitchen The new dishwasher on the south wall of the new kitchen The north wall of the new kitchen

By the end of October 2014 we had paid off our building debt.