The Tudor Gothic Church, designed by architects McCarty and Smith, was built in 1936. The church is constructed with Joliet limestone bearing walls and brick masonry back-up and Indiana limestone trim. The church hired Berglund to restore the main entrance façade and the adjacent bell tower. The restoration is part of St. Luke’s 125th Anniversary Capital Campaign commitment to address the pressing needs of the buildings and grounds before they become major problems.
Mortar throughout the church façade had deteriorated, exposing the church to possible leaks and compromising the stone masonry. In addition to providing a water-tight facade, the goal of this project was to restore the mortar to its appearance when the church was first constructed. In the pre-construction phase, we took mortar samples for analysis that determined the correct color and composition for the project.
As scaffold provided the project team closer access to the façade, we discovered that several Indiana limestone buttress units, each weighing more than 1,000 pounds, were shifted between one and three inches out of place. Once the team recognized that these shifting stones could not be ignored, we worked collaboratively to determine the best repair and means and methods to achieve the repair. Ultimately, we devised a chain-fall system to remove and reset these stones 40 feet in the air.
The end result of this collaborative project left all team members confident that the best means and methods were used to make repairs with lasting value for the church. No dollar was spent without ensuring each team member fully understood what it was purchasing. Everyone’s insight was heard and valued when a critical decision regarding the direction of the project was required. This process led to a finished product that made everyone proud — from the craftspeople who did the work to the parishioners who worship here.
The end result of this collaborative project left all team members confident that the best means and methods were used to make repairs with lasting value for the church.
This project benefited from intense collaboration between us, Fodor Engineering, the pastor and St. Luke’s facilities managers and parishioners. Some great ideas came out of our lively discussions in our weekly meetings in the basement of the rectory.