Latest Updates

Tower Work Update

CHICAGO, IL – Below are before and after pictures of the tower northeast corner at the very top.  The corner stone had shifted at least 2 inches.  The stone was removed and reset.  SGH (Simpon Gumpertz and Heger) will be able to access the area on Monday to do a full assessment of why the stone moved and also, provide details on how to adhere the stone back in place.  The roof above is four large pieces of limestone, all in good condition, and may need some tuckpointing.

Warm Weather = More Work!

CHICAGO, IL – The weather has warmed up enough to start the concrete work in the bell tower. The compromised concrete has been removed on one of the lintels and some of the deck to expose the steel structure. Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH), the engineers, will be out early next week to assess the conditions prior to the rebuild.

New Year’s Shrine Update!

After a short break for the holidays work, continues at the Shrine. Shop drawings of the roof truss steel were received and are being reviewed by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. Once reviewed and approved, the steel can start fabrication. Fabrication will take 6 to 8 weeks – just in time to erect steel when the spring starts to thaw!

The cold temperatures of winter have put a hold on the tower repairs. The parapet has been protected for the winter.

Carols and Candles at the Shrine

Thank you, WGN-TV, for your coverage last night of our community Carols and Candles event. With about 150 people in attendance, the Shrine was able to spread Christmas joy, peace and love throughout the Woodlawn neighborhood.

Thank you to all those who helped make this event possible, especially Gabriel Piemonte who spearheaded the jubilant gathering.

Check out all the photos from Carols and Candles on our Facebook page: Carols and Candles Album


Tarping Finished

CHICAGO, IL – On Friday, December 16th, the last of the protective tarping was attached to our historic landmark. The Shrine is now all wrapped up – just in time for Christmas!

Winter Work Continues…

Winter has arrived at the Shrine, but that has not stopped the tarping of the exposed parapet walls!!  

Winter Protection

The parapet walls are 50% covered for winter protection! Berglund Construction has been on site installing plastic tarp over the parapet walls to keep out the winter elements. The temperature has dropped significantly this week in Chicago. Once there is a break in the cold weather, the work will resume on the tower.

Support the restoration of the tower at Donate $250 or more and receive a beautiful Infant King Rosary from Italy!

Wrapping Up the Shrine!

This is our version of “brown paper packages wrapped up with string”.  The parapet walls of the Shrine are being covered with tarp to prevent the winter elements from damaging the interior cavity walls.  Winter has hit in Chicago and the steel will not be set until the spring – this coverage will help protect the building.

Tarping the Walls

Berglund Construction was on site today and started the tarping of the open parapet wall. A plastic tarp is being trapped over the parapet and is attached to the inside and the outside to protect the cavity wall from the harsh winter conditions. This process will take about two weeks.

Field Report & Sounds Testing

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) was on site Friday, December 2nd, and conducted sound testing of the concrete floor, deck and lintels in the Bell Tower.  Scaffolding was built up inside and to the south side of the tower to obtain access.  Sound testing is done to evaluate the structural integrity of the concrete and to confirm if there was any major damage done due to the fire.