The Restoration Plan
Using the existing reminders of the interior of the former St. Gelasius with its Corinthian capitals and high pilasters, the plan has been inspired by Renaissance and Baroque church buildings in Venice and Rome, making of the Shrine a light-flooded hall. Clear lines and solid materials will draw all attention to the sanctuary adorned with a magnificent high altar.
The interior and exterior of the Shrine will show a perfect harmony of late Renaissance and early Baroque beauty. This combination of styles will be at the same time elegant, sober, and awe-inspiring. This is the ideal form for an impressive yet reasonable restoration of the future Shrine.
Experts Involved in the Project
The vision for this restoration has been developed by a professional designer, Abbe Alexander Willweber, whose experience includes the beautiful St. Mary’s Restoration in Wausau, Wisconsin. Implementing this vision will be craftsmen and artists from the United States and Europe who will collaborate to bring classical beauty back to this historic building.
The architect in charge of this project is especially suitable. William C. Heyer is a classical architect who has studied the work of St. Gelasius’ original architect, the masterful Henry J. Schlacks. Educated at Notre Dame, where Schlacks founded the architectural program, Mr. Heyer has the experience in church restoration and classical architecture necessary to bring this Shrine back to life.
Restoration of a Neighborhood
The revival of the former St. Gelasius church will also be a great gift to the entire neighborhood and will contribute positively to the thriving Hyde Park and Woodlawn communities in south Chicago. Indeed, this is already happening, as these once dilapidated neighborhoods are now bustling with new and restored homes and condominiums, which themselves have a classical air about them and will blend beautifully with the Shrine.Contribute to this Most Worthy Cause »