Will the Church ever return to a sane architectural design for Catholic sanctuaries? Maybe brick by brick.
But with that said, please note where the altar railing is located. It is on the first step from floor of the nave.
This accomplishes two things.
1. The railing is precisely that, a communion or prayer railing. It does not act as a barrier to that which is beyond it but rather an extension of it visually speaking.
2. The railing is easily accessible to those with difficulty climbing steps.
At our cathedral the railing is up two steps. For the elderly or those with knee issues, it is a daunting climb and if you forget that there are two steps behind you when you get up to leave, a disaster in the making looms for the unsuspecting soul and body.
At Saint Joseph Church in Macon, the original altar railing was also three steps up. When I restored it we designed it exactly as the church in the photo above has it. It makes perfect sense.