Capital Industrial Restorations receives award of excellence for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

St. Joseph Catholic Church is located at 702 C Street in Marysville, CA, 40 miles north of Sacramento. With a 320-person seating capacity, St. Joseph’s has remained a stable figure in the life of Marysville residents and is one of the oldest institutions in the Diocese of Sacramento. The parish of more than 1,700 families celebrated the Church’s 165th anniversary this year.

When Marysville was a bustling Gold Rush hub, the city and its church were key players in the development to the Sacramento diocese. In 1852, the archbishop of San Francisco sent Father Peter Magagnotto to Marysville to set up a parish. That year, he built a small temporary church where St. Joseph’s priest now lives. On September 16, 1855, the cornerstone of the current St. Joseph’s church was laid, and by the next year, the parish opened.

Physically, the Marysville cathedral has changed little over the past century and a half, at least on the outside. Behind the large wooden doors, the sanctuary that exists is nearly unrecognizable when compared to its past incarnations (Fig. 1). Many features remain, such as the church’s bell, cast in 1851 and the stained-glass windows imported from Germany in 1899. In 2000, the exterior of the building was painted using acrylic paint but after 20 years was in need of extensive repair (Fig. 2).

Over the years, the elements had taken a toll on the building. Some existing conditions identified

were a leaking roof, extensive cracking of the exterior façade, spalling of the concrete and plaster walls, the exterior paint contained lead and needed to be remediated, and the stained-glass windows had lead which needed to be removed and the windows repaired.

PROJECT FINANCING

Finances and support for religious institutions are arranged differently than other typical construction projects. The church has about 1,700 parishioners that regularly attend services. Church members collected $1 million over the years to help with the project. Earlier this year, parish leaders set out on a plan to raise the remaining $800,000 needed for the project.

Once the scaffolding went up, it was found that much of the exterior façade plaster had delaminated from the original brick walls, creating a huge surprise to the project team. Like any other project, this project had its share of surprises resulting in scope creep.

THE CONCRETE REPAIR STRATEGY

The repair strategy included a site survey to identify the deficiencies and understand the scope of work. Façade walls were sounded to locate delaminations. Failing paint would be removed by mechanical means and the façade would be adhered to the brick below. Cracks would need to be epoxy injected and spalls would require repair with a mortar. Once the repair work was done, the building would be protected with a surface applied corrosion inhibitor and a crack-bridging, waterproofing, elastomeric wall coating.

THE CONCRETE REPAIR STRATEGY

The repair strategy included a site survey to identify the deficiencies and understand the scope of work. Façade walls were sounded to locate delaminations. Failing paint would be removed by mechanical means and the façade would be adhered to the brick below. Cracks would need to be epoxy injected and spalls would require repair with a mortar. Once the repair work was done, the building would be protected with a surface applied corrosion inhibitor and a crack-bridging, waterproofing, elastomeric wall coating.

LEAD PAINT ABATEMENT AND PLASTER REPAIRS

Options for dealing with the lead-based paint and the delaminated plaster façade were discussed by the project team. To neutralize the lead-based paint, it was agreed to remove only the loose and flaking material and use a lead-blocking primer to encapsulate the lead paint. The delamination of the plaster façade was a bigger problem. The cost to remove the delaminated plaster and replace it would be cost-prohibitive. Instead, a two-component, 100 percent solids, structural epoxy was injected to spot-glue the veneer masonry back to the brick. The epoxy injection was done at very low pressure as not to blow out the plaster walls. Some test areas were performed and passed the adhesion tests, providing a durable solution within the budget.

GLASS REPAIRS

The stained glass had extensive cracking and had to be carefully removed and sent back to a glass repair studio in Ohio where it was repaired and reinstalled with safety glass in front to increase its protection. This tedious process required extreme care for the removal, repair, shipping, and re-installation of the glass panes.

Fig. 6: Side view of the newly restored and painted church

SPIRE & STEEPLE REPAIRS

Replacing the steeple and spire which towered 100 ft (30 m) high presented another challenge. It was starting to lean

and was showing wear, so it had to be carefully removed with a tower crane. Once it was safely on the ground, it was deconstructed, and the new steeple trucked in and reinstalled (Fig. 3).

BUILDING FAÇADE WEATHERPROOFING

The building was washed to get rid of all dirt and mildew. To fill surface cracks, an elastomeric material was applied and smoothed with a putty knife. Spall repairs were completed using a fast-setting, one-component, cementitious vertical and overhead repair mortar. Once the repair work was completed, a one-component penetrating primer was applied to seal the surface and promote adhesion and two coats of elastomeric, crack-bridging, anti-carbonation, high performance wall coating installed (Fig. 4 through 7). The owner took this opportunity to update the color palette to match traditional church colors of the 1800s.

COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS

The COVID-19 pandemic made for its own set of challenges. Extra precautions had to be taken to keep the workers and community safe and avoid costly shutdowns. One benefit of
the pandemic was that the Governor had suspended all in- church gatherings which meant that the contractors did not have to work around the normal daily church activities. The owners are looking forward to COVID-19 restrictions being lifted and allowing its parishioners to return to inside worship where everyone can enjoy the beautiful new Sanctuary.

This article originally appeared in

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
READ MORE

Related Posts