Latest Updates

Roof Decking and More!

CHICAGO, IL – Great progress on the Southwest corner and decking. Now for roof under layers and shingles and exterior stone!

Click photos to enlarge…

Summer Restoration Update

CHICAGO, IL – July and now into August have seen major progress on getting the building covered and the interior better protected from the elements.

Metal framing was the first step for the new roof. At the beginning of July, the major components were in place.

As decking was installed, it was apparent that additional support was required, so these components were fabricated and installed in July.

Decking is the first layer on the framing. You may have seen it sitting in the parking lot until it was ready to be installed. It has welded and screwed connections to keep it attached and rigid to support the upcoming roof layers.

As the decking is installed, the space to lift materials and the pros gets smaller, requiring great skill with the machinery.

In August and September, the roof under layers will be installed. These provide insulation and a moisture barrier between the exterior and the interior. These are then followed by the shingles, which are the final external layer that protect the building from weather and restore the roof to its previous appearance.

The major southwest tower masonry work is also underway, with stone to be added next week. You’ll notice the scaffolding in the courtyard that is being used currently by masons, but will also be used by the roofing team.

With Phase I funded and near completion, it is time to think about financial support of the next phase of the restoration. Phase II will meet the requirements of the City of Chicago for occupancy, so that the congregation and the neighborhood can once again use the building. To name a few elements: Phase II includes architectural and engineering design and specification work, exterior windows and doors, safety and accessibility systems, heating, electrical, plumbing, concrete slab floor, roughed in walls and ceiling, stairs and secure upper floors are required as part of the Phase III ultimate architectural vision of the Shrine. The end of Phase II will provide a safe, blank canvas for the beautification that is Phase III.

Roof Decking Update

CHICAGO, IL – The roof decking continues!

The view of the northeast corner looking north. The roof takes a different shape here, so the decking is more complex than the large sheets on the main building span. Note the new masonry is finished at the columns and the top of the walls.

Same corner, facing the altar.

The southwest corner of the church. Note a lot of new bricking has been laid. Brick will continue up beyond the decking, and will be capped with saved stone.

Continue to pray for the safety of the people who are performing this work, good weather to facilitate quality completion, and funding for the next phase of this Resurrection from Ashes!

Roof Decking during Phase 1 Continues

CHICAGO, IL – This week at the Shrine, the roof decking continues…

– Decking on the north wall at the altar. Note the new bricking to the top of the column.

– Note two more completed columns on the south wall. Final roof support steel work here to be finished today. All steel work and decking to be finished this week!

– Decking to be completed between trusses 4 & 6 (right and left sides of the photo below) in the next two days. Field weld inspections and report are pending.

– Southwest corner masonry will be finished this week.

– Awaiting roofer availability to install underlayer and shingles!

Roof Decking

CHICAGO, IL – The week of July 8th was all about decking and welding angles to the roofing support to assure decking alignment.

– Along the north wall, facing west.

– Along the south wall, facing west.

– Decking progress from west wall.

– Decking installation, northeast corner.

Complete June 2018 Update – Phase 1

CHICAGO, IL – Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest-Construction Phase I, June 2018 Monthly Update

– South wall column/truss pockets are now enclosed by masonry. This shows a truss (the angled steel), bent plates (the steel pieces attached to the wall on both sides of the truss), and the masonry enclosing the truss and the column it is attached to, as well as the masonry that had to be added to the walls to reach the roofline.

– Columns on either side of the altar have been enclosed by masonry up to the roof line.

– Tuck pointing has been done on major wall sections, many that will be difficult to manage once the decking is installed.

– Bent plates have been attached along the top edge of the north and south walls.

– Safety lines are set atop the walls around the perimeter of the building and along the roof centerline. These lines are for the safety of crew members working so high off the ground without the benefit of basket lifts.

– Decking is being laid! Work began in the northwest corner, around the tower. Metal roof decking serves as the base for roof insulation and, ultimately, the exterior shingles. Decking is corrugated to increase stiffness in spanning from point to point across the steel roof frame. Below: decking uninstalled, decking sheets installed.

– The action of three machines and two teams (masonry and steel) in the building at once can be a challenge. These lifts are used to move material, equipment, and team members. Notice two men at the top of the wall. It seems a large space when only people are inside, not so much when machinery is moving around.

The Shrine has been invited once again to participate in Open House Chicago. We have accepted, so please come visit! The event is scheduled for October 13-14, 2018. It is always an honor to participate and welcome new people to the Shrine, even in its evolving state!

The first grant payment from the National Fund was approved by their Board in mid-June and the $125,000 check should arrive by mid-July. This is an indication that the Shrine Phase I project is meeting the commitments made when the grant was awarded last winter. The final inspection and documentation required by the Fund are expected for late summer, early fall 2018.

Thank you for your ongoing enthusiasm for this project! Phase I is the first step toward a renewed home for the congregation and the neighborhood.

Shrine Weekly Update, 6.29.18

CHICAGO, IL – The sun was shining on the roof project this week!

– Safety lines ready for decking, underlayment, and shingles.

– Pulling up mortar for final column/truss pocket closures on the south wall. The mason is barely visible laying the brick.

– Another bent beam on the south wall.

– Decking laid in the tower corner. Sheets are laid from wall to peak, tower toward altar.

Progress, Progress, Progress!

CHICAGO, IL – Great progress was made last week, until two solid days of rain Thursday and Friday – in which case, crews worked hard over the weekend to stay on track!

– Masonry enclosure at column/truss connections at the South wall.

– Installation of bent beams on the interior South wall. It takes one machine to lift the steel component, and the other to lift and hold the steelworkers!

– North wall tuck-pointing near the construction entrance. North wall tuck-pointing underway.

– Roof decking ready for installation beginning the last week of June.

May 2018 Update


CHICAGO, IL – May brought the showers IMG_1209Chicago typically enjoys in April, but despite some soggy weather, the construction team continued their work critical to a stable and covered structure. If you’ve been following the blog or the bulletin, you’ve seen many pictures of the activity on-site.


1. The north wall truss backplates are in place and inspected, a required good practice.

2. The masonry enclosing the truss ends is complete on the north wall.

3. An additional support beam was deemed necessary in both the NE and SE corners of the building to provide additional stability. The NE corner support is installed.

4. All steel products required for completion of the roof support structure are on-site.

5. Some may be curious about the green screening added to the fencing on the northside of the building. This was required by a city environmental inspector and is intended to contain the dust from our work. The holes are intentional, preventing the wind from knocking over the fence.

6. The Institute architect, Bill Heyer, visited the site in May to inspect progress to date against his design. He also met briefly with the local architect, Walter Street, to discuss thoughts on Phase II.

  • You may recall that Phase II includes those items which enclose the building envelope (such as windows and doors) and make building occupancy permissible per Chicago’s permit rules. These elements include HVAC, electrical, plumbing, accessibility, safety, etc.
  • It is not until Phase III that beautification of the interior begins.


7. Save the Shrine’s Emily Nielsen and Jennifer Blackman met with the Shrine’s Project Manager in May as well. They agreed on steps that will further the journey towards a successfully restored historic building to house the Shrine of Christ the King.

8. The first payment from the National Fund was applied for in May. Approval is expected no later than mid-June, with a check no later than mid-July.

  • As a reminder, this grant is a 2:1 matching grant for the roof structure and roof. This grant requires the Institute to reach $500,000 in construction project gifts, pledges and in-kind contributions since 11/1/2017 to qualify for the National Fund’s $250,000 grant.
  • The $250,000 fund-raising challenge toward the Fund’s first check was achieved through construction project gifts, pledges and in-kind contributions of many, many generous donors throughout the United States, for which those who believe in the Institute and the Shrine are incredibly grateful.
  • The final National Fund check cannot be applied for until the project (roof structure and roof) is complete and inspected by the Fund’s representatives.


Thank you to all who contribute time, money, materials, labor and other forms of support to this first step in this very ambitious three-phase restoration project.