Latest Updates

Roof Structural Replacement Drawings

Chicago, IL – The Roof Structural Replacement drawings have been received from Wiss, Janney, Elstner (WJE), the structural engineer.  Canon Talarico, Jim Raffin of Raffin Construction, and A. Elizabeth Ortner of Studio 31a reviewed the drawings in the Shrine.  Raffin Construction will use these drawings to get multiple bids from subcontractors to firm up pricing on the cost of this phase of the work.  These drawings will also be used to go in for the Building Permit with the City of Chicago.  Studio 31a is working on setting up a meeting with the City as they have a vested interest in this project.

Shrine Renovation Process Continues

Chicago, IL – As the summer moves along through July, so too does the restoration process of the Shrine. Wiss Janney Elstner (WJE) & Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) are working to complete their documents for upcoming deadlines in July. These two engineering firms have also been in contact with each other and are sharing renovation details for Phase 1, which includes rebuilding the roof and essential masonry repairs near the roofline.

Preliminary budget meetings and research are ongoing for subsequent phases of the building’s restoration. Experts are being consulted as to the extent of the plaster damage to the church’s interior. Landmark Fee Waiver documents have been sent into the City of Chicago and are under review.

Roof Demolition Completed!

As the month of June comes to an end, the final demolition of the roof at the Shrine has been completed!! Debris has been cleared and work continues to further the progress of the Shrine’s restoration.

Meanwhile, Wiss Janney Elstner (WJE) is in the office creating drawings and structural steel details for the construction of the new roof. Their drawings are due on July 19, 2016.

Also at this time, Simpson, Grumertz & Heger (SGH) are compiling all the data they gathered from their exterior survey and are creating documents that are due on July 29, 2016.

More Roof Removal

Chicago, IL – This week at the Shrine work continued with the demolition of the fire damaged roof, resulting in piles of burnt wood and plaster. Unfortunately, there was a column capital that crumbled when it was moved, as the plaster strength has been compromised due to its exposure to the elements.

Stone Damage Evaluation

Chicago, IL – This week Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Engineering Services (SGH) is conducting a massive exterior survey of the Shrine. SGH is checking for heat damage to the stone from October’s fire and freeze & thaw damage to the stone due to the open exposure over this past winter. In the near future, they will also be surveying the windows and doors of the Shrine.


Early June Shrine Update

Chicago, IL – June has just begun but the restoration efforts at the Shrine are moving along quickly!! Much has been done since the month started. More of the transept roof has been removed. Capital columns are being protected as they will remain in place as part of the new interior of the Shrine. Other damaged capital has been removed. And the engineering company, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, has started its site surveying of the exterior condition of the Shrine’s limestone.



Removing More Brick

Chicago, IL – Today at the Shrine the demolition contractor opened up more of the brick at the steel connections so that on Monday the engineers can do more field investigations.

Interior Clean-Up Nearly Complete!

Chicago, IL – Clean-up of the church interior is nearing completion. Engineers now have clear access for an up-close analysis of the steel trusses and supports overhead and to the steel columns in the walls. This evaluation will be helpful for the construction drawings of new steel trusses and of the entire new roofing system.

Day 2 of Debris Clean-Up

Chicago, IL – Removal of the ashes and debris from October’s fire continues at the Shrine while the press was given access to the clean-up process going on inside the church.

Press Release: Shrine Rising Continues: Christ The King Church Clean-Up



CHICAGO, IL (April 26, 2016) – In the aftermath of a devastating fire on October 7th, 2015, and following its narrow escape from demolition yet again, the Shrine of Christ the King Church continues to rise up from its ashes—this time in a very literal way.

Crews are now beginning to remove the ash and debris from inside the fire-damaged church. This work marks the start of Phase One of the “Rise with the Shrine” campaign for the complete restoration of this City of Chicago landmark church.

In late February, the Archdiocese of Chicago deeded the church buildings and property to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, thanks in a special way to the support of historic preservation groups and local neighborhood associations. Since then, the Institute has been active with its construction team in making preparations and plans for the rebuilding.

On Tuesday, April 26, at 10:00am the press will be given access to the clean-up process going on inside the church. Rev. Canon Matthew Talarico, provincial Superior of the Institute in the United States, as well as some of the leading workers and community members, will also be available for interviews to mark this historic occasion.

For more information please contact Rev. Canon Matthew Talarico at or at 973-590-6494.