The Historic Beautification of our Parish Church

Week 1 – January 6
This week much of our Austin pipe organ, installed in 1988, with its 2,093 pipes will be removed for maintenance and storage by Peoples-Herzog. Corna-Kokosing and Martin Painting are removing pews for refinishing by Martin’s and storage in a warehouse – note the foot-traffic patterns on the wood floor. Statuary has been removed for some touch-up and storage during the beautification. The stations of the cross were removed from the wall – the revealed wall-covering shows just how much that material has soiled over the years! The Altar, pulpit and baptismal fonts are being enclosed for protection. Green marble column bases have been removed from the front corners of the nave. Old confessionals have been opened-up.

Week 2 – January 13 (Images Updated 17 Jan – PM)
This week, a number of things will unfold as you’ll see from the pictures that will be posted below: terrazzo wall-covering removed to ready the walls of the nave for the wood wainscoting; removal of fabric wall-covering and repairs for future painting; removal of the hanging lanterns in the nave; removal of radiator covers in front of pews and in back of nave where statuary once stood; removal of the mural of Mary’s Assumption from the reredos. The organ case has been wrapped in protective plastic. Demo has begun in the sacristy to remove closets for the installation of a small bathroom. A picture below shows what appears to be old wallpaper on the ceiling above a closet that was removed in the sacristy. Also, workers have removed the concrete window sills (not wood!) below the stained-glass windows that sat atop the terrazzo. This will all be re-done in wood when the wainscoting is crafted and installed. We’re seeing the arrival of many of the materials that will be used to finish the construction of the scaffolding system to support the “dance floor” that will be built high up in the church to allow the crew to work on the tops of the walls and ribbed ceiling across the nave.

There reredos has been removed and transported to a wood shop for some beautification work; to construct an altar of repose beneath it; and to integrate some of the current blessed sacrament tower (which has also now been removed) into the altar of repose where the tabernacle will be placed to reserve the Blessed Sacrament. The stained-glass windows are being covered for protection and the scaffolding is being installed down the nave.

** Please join us! Sacred Architecture Series – Part II of III: Thursday, 17 January at 7 pm in the Spirit Center with William Heyer – the architect for our church’s beautification. Bill will help us understand Sacred Architecture by looking at medieval cathedrals through the 20th century and how those sacred buildings influenced our own churches today. Monastic learning, Thomas Aquinas, and medieval philosophy all had an incredible influence of our understanding of the world and what buildings mean for our experiences here on earth. This influence is still present in our understanding of how churches can be built and made more beautiful. More info ( here )

Week 3 – January 20 (Updated 24 Jan – PM)
The end of last week saw Steve, our woodworker from Bent Tree Woodworking, remove the final pieces of the main reredos from the sanctuary apse. Also note in the pictures the removal of the pedestal upon which the images of Mary and Joseph stood.

This week, work continues on the construction of the scaffolding by Safeway (see stairwell construction and the “dance floor” starting to come together high up in the nave) and the covering of all flooring with protective boards. Claypool electric is around again this week working to install temporary lighting below the scaffolding to illuminate the lower church once the wood flooring completely covers the ceiling with the can lights. They are also beginning preparations for LED fixtures and updates to our fire alarm system. Carpeting has been removed in the Sacristy in preparation for the construction of the bathroom that is to take place.

Demolition has begun in the old reconciliation rooms. Restroom construction in that area will be coming up in the first part of February. Martin Painting is finishing the covering of all stained-glass windows. The walls and plaster under the fabric wall covering were found to be good very good condition. The wall on the north side has been painted with a special tinted primer that will allow future plasterwork to bond properly to the walls should there be any adhesive residue remaining from the wall wallcovering.

** Please join us for the final session of our series on Sacred Architecture this Thursday, 24 January at 7 pm in the Spirit Center with William Heyer – the architect for our church’s beautification. Bill Heyer will help us understand sacred architecture by looking at contemporary churches—the good and the bad—and understanding how we have been steered away from timeless sacred architecture principles in some cases and how we otherwise have strived for a continuity with our Catholic identity using new forms and techniques of building. These lessons are important for providing meaningful churches for our children and future generations of American Catholics. More info ( here )

Week 4 – January 27 (Updated 31 Jan – PM)
This week, work will continue on the construction of the scaffolding and “dance floor” across the nave of the church and into the choir loft. Demolition of the old bathroom facilities and reconciliation rooms in preparation for construction of the new bathroom facilities and a single reconciliation room. Claypool will continue electrical work for LED lights in the rear of the church. Martin Painting will continue to work on plastering and plaster repair on the walls and ceiling. 

Updated pictures show the “dance floor” atop the scaffolds is complete across center of the nave moving to the West above the loft. Workers continue to do plaster repair and spray on a tinted primer. Electricians begin work on the overhead lighting in the narthex under the choir loft. Additionally, the brick walls that were exposed by the removed terrazzo wall covering are being patched and prepared for future installation of the wood wainscoting. 

Week 5 – February 3 (Updated 7 Feb)
This week, construction on the scaffolding system with “dance floor” will continue moving more toward the East and into the Sanctuary. Ceiling and wall plaster repair and primer painting will continue. Major demolition will begin in the bathrooms and old reconciliation rooms with the removal of walls and ceilings. Claypool Electric will also continue with electrical work and removal of old lighting fixtures to install new LED lights. Muetzel’s will also work later this week and into next week to install an underground sanitary.
** Caption’s added in bottom-left of large image view.

Pictures below show some new electric conduit that has been run in the front exterior wall of the main vestibule that will supply electric to sconces that will be installed on both sides of the main doors of the church. Electrical work continues in the ceiling of the narthex and new  conduit being run to the column capitals for LED accept lighting. Much plaster work continues on the walls and ceiling of the church as you’ll see from pink and chalk-white areas on the pictures of the ceiling. Bathroom demolition continues.

Week 6 – February 10 (Updated 14 Feb AM)
Safeway has completed the installation of the scaffolding system and “dance floor” across the entire nave and sanctuary of the church!
The plan for this week includes: continued work to repair, patch and prep the ceiling of the church for painting; electrical work in the ceiling to prepare for LED installation (I think early in March); and the patching of the brickwork in preparation for vapor barrier application where future wood wainscoting will be installed. Work to be done this week in the old bathroom areas: ceiling demo; removal of old furnace unit and ceiling mechanical equipment and ducts.

Pictures below show some selections of wall and ceiling plaster damage that is in various stages of being repaired. Other images show the progress of the old bathroom area demolition and progress of the removal of the wall between the bathrooms and reconciliations rooms. Worthington Air is in the process of removing the old furnace unit which sits in a closet between these areas and the ceiling mechanicals across the bathrooms and reconciliation rooms.

Week 7 – February 17 (Updated 21 Feb)
Work continues by Martin Painting to prep and patch the ceiling of the church before painting. Claypool continues electrical runs and work in the ceiling of the church in preparation for LED lighting fixtures which could begin to be installed very late February. Corna will continue patching the brick walls that were exposed after the terrazzo wall covering was removed. Terrazo wall bases will be removed soon with any brick patching needed to follow. After brick patching is complete, Corna will apply a vapor barrier… this could begin as early as this Friday. The vapor barrier will protect the wood wainscoting that will be installed later in the beautification. 

Note in images below: How think the brick walls of the church are – 5 courses of brick! In one image looking from the old bathroom areas toward the old reconciliation rooms, you can make out the old exterior door access to the candle storage room that was blocked-in. All the pink “paint” is a plaster weld liquid that is applied to the ceiling (and wall) areas that need patching to aid the plaster to bond properly to the surface. Images show different stages of this process — some just pink “paint” and others show the plaster-work in various stages over the pink “paint”. Muetzel’s crew saw-cut the old bathroom slab to remove pipes and prepare the new underground sanitary. The removal of some added side wall column extensions on the first bay of the church revealed some old wall pattern which appears to match an old picture of the church from an 1898 booklet.

Week 8 – February 24 (Updated 27 Feb)
Work continues by Martin Painting to patch, repair and paint the ceiling of the church. Claypool has removed the old can lights in the ceiling of the nave and sanctuary — images below will show how large of a hole was left in the ceiling from their removal. Since the lens of the new LED fixtures are much smaller, Martin will need fill in much of the holes to accommodate the smaller lighting fixtures that will be installed. CK has removed some of the front doors of church which are in need of repair. Additionally, the bathroom sanitary has been installed by Muetzel; the ground has been prepared; and we await the concrete crew to arrive and patch the slab for future bathrooms and a mechanical closet. Claypool has been wiring-up junction boxes for LED fixtures atop the column capitals for accent lights that will illuminate the Stations of the Cross.

Week 9 – March 3
This week, work will continue by Martin Painting to patch, repair and paint the ceiling of the church. Matt from MuralWorks should begin some of the decorative floral painting on the ceiling of the nave and column capitals. Claypool will continue with electrical rough-ins and lighting controls. Since the bathroom foundation slab was patched late last week to cover the sanitary lines, Corna will begin framing the walls for the new handicap/family restroom as well as the new men and women’s restrooms. Later in the week, Worthington Air will set the new furnace and A/C unit and rough in the exhaust fans.

An image below shows the inside of the column bases that support the roof of the church. Other images show, in various stages, the patching of the big holes left from the old light fixtures to prepare for the installation of the new and much smaller LED’s. In some places, fewer fixtures will be needed.

Week 10 – March 10
This week, Martin Painting continues to work on ceiling patching and painting — much of the ceiling has been painted already in the final color. Today, they began painting the ceiling ribs. The first coat of tinted-blue primer has been applied to the sanctuary ceiling — soon the real paint will be applied! Decorative painting by Mural Works begins this week. Our site supervisor, Jeff, from Corna-Kokosing said that over the next ten days or so we’ll see the plumbing, electrical & lighting, and final ductwork for HVAC completed with final inspections carried out in the new bathrooms and reconciliation room before Corna’s crew does drywall.

Week 11 – March 18
Martin Painting continues to work on patching and the painting of the ceiling and ribs. Scaffolding is being constructed now over what remains of the pipe organ so the ceiling can be properly and safely accessed. Decorative painting by Matt and his crew from Mural Works continues on the ceiling bosses and column capitals – some images below in various stages. Plumbing and electrical work continues on the new restroom facilities and reconciliation room. HVAC work is just about complete there. A bit more work will be beginning to re-commission the confessionals — you’ll see the small windows in the front confessions have been opened-up that were covered over in the 90’s. The drywall will probably be removed soon so insulation can be installed.

Keep in mind as you see various images that work spot lights are being used to illuminate different areas in the darkened church – our LED lights have not yet been installed, so the lighting you see is not the church lighting! It is still pretty dark in church. This is especially true for the blue ceiling in the sanctuary that has recently been painted. The ribs there are just beginning to be painted.

Week 12 – March 24
Martin Painting should finish painting the church ceiling and ribs this week. Matt and his crew from MuralWorks continue the decorative paintings around the ceiling bosses and column capitals. This detailed decorative floral painting will continue for a month or so. Mechanical work continues in the new bathrooms and reconciliation room by Muetzel and Claypool and should soon finish so proper inspections can be carried out. It’s looking like Corna will begin to hang drywall next Tuesday in those areas. The framed arch-wall above the main inner doors of church has been removed (image below). Eventually, two commemorative pieces or art will go there to be seen as people enter and leave through the main inner doors of church.

I’ve added some pictures of the church attic from the catwalks for all to see just how large it is up there, how the large ceiling light holes were patched, and the hand-crank wench that is used to attach to nave lanterns when they need to be lowered to change bulbs. I’ll post more pictures later from up there after the new LED’s are installed, some from inside the tower at various levels, and of our bells: Joseph, George, and John. I’ve added brief descriptions to each picture in the bottom left when you view them at full-size.