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Photos of the restoration of the Chapel 2001-2002
Click on each image to see an enlargement, 27 in all

The two-year restoration of the University Chapel, a 1925 Gothic Revival structure built of limestone, sandstone, and granite, was an all-encompassing orchestration of highly skilled stone- and stained-glass specialists, scaffolding, materials, and documentation. On any given day, Masonry Preservation Group, the general contractor, employed 30 stoneworkers, who repointed masonry joints, removed and then reinstalled deteriorated stone units, replaced missing stone units, repaired cracks and losses in the stone, and carved in situ. The time-consuming job of cleaning the exterior was accomplished by workers using a German Jos microabrasive cleaning machine, which power shoots a narrow spray of air and water.

Stained-glass craftsmen from Femenella and Associates, of Clinton, New Jersey, restored the stained glass and leaded glass windows. Approximately 90% of the windows were removed, transported, taken apart, repaired, re-leaded, cleaned, reassembled, and reinstalled. From beginning to end, documentation included photography, full-size archival rubbings, window mapping and labeling, plus individual day books kept by each artisan. Windows that were not removed were cleaned using warm soft water with alcohol and ammonia, applied gently to the exterior of windows using soft cloth. Missing and broken glass was replaced. Execution of all replacement painting on glass was done in the style and manner of the original artist under the directive "no modern hand shall be visible."

Exterior and interior scaffold was designed and placed for the convenience of the masonry restoration and stained glass removal and reinstallation.

While the major portion of the restoration is now complete, the refinishing of the exterior doors and restoration of the site and landscaping following construction is scheduled to be finished this spring.

Photos courtesy Masonry Preservation Group.


West entrance prior to cleaning, which started in spring 2001

The exterior prior to cleaning was sooty with extensive biological growth

Exterior scaffolding

Exterior scaffolding

Deteriorated bluestone to be replaced by new, seen in crates to the side


The cleaning and the restoration of the exterior included the stone detail around the windows

Cleaning the stone and mortar

Stoneworker removing mortar joints

Stoneworker removing mortar joints at window traceries

preparing stone prior to limestone dutchman installation

A stoneworker recarving the stone to match original

Typical mortar joint removal

New west balcony stone pinnacles laid out prior to installation

Jos cleaning at west portal turret

Jos cleaning of exterior

New mortar in the joints

Sculpture on west tympanum, main entrace, prior to being cleaned, patched, and pointed


Stained glass craftsmen remove glass panels of the Great West Window from the outside.

Window removal in progress

Stained glass craftsman inside, looking out, after glass removal

Window tracery prior to removal of stained glass panels

Stained glass removal in progress

Stained glass restoration workers remove glass panels of a window tracery

An example of glass that has been removed, releaded, and reinstalled

Interior stained glass windows


Scaffolding and interior dust protection is built at the Great West Window,

Nave scaffolding

All Done!
(Photo by Ricardo Barros)