Latest Updates

The Skidmore Wilhelm test

CHICAGO, IL – Today WJE, Ibarra Group were on site to perform the Skidmore Wilhelm test, bolt testing. This test is the pre-installation verification tension testing to measure fastener performance. General fastener testing is done to determine torque/tension relationships and is tested on bolts, lock nuts and direct tension indicating washers.

Skidmore Wilhelm’s hydraulic tension calibrator, or bolt tension calibrator, has been the industry standard for testing high-strength bolts since its invention in the 1950’s. The units are required to be used on steel buildings, bridges and other structures using fasteners in tension critical joints.

Below are photos of the unit. There are five manila envelopes, each labeled for the five different bolt sets used. Three bolt, washer, nut sets were tested out of each of the five lots.

February Restoration Update

CHICAGO, IL – Update for the work done in February at the Shrine. It has been a busy month, but in simple terms below are the highlights.

Phase I

– Truss Nos. 1, 2, 3 & 4 have been sand blasted, primed and painted

– Truss Nos. 5 & 6 are in the que for blasting, priming and painting

– Truss Nos. 7 & 8 are to start fabrication

– Masonry work on the interior of the west pediment wall has finished

– Masonry work at the southwest corner has started in preparation for the steel

– Truss No. 1 will be delivered on site on March 8th

– On March 12th, 64th street will be closed from Woodlawn to the alley to the east

– First truss to be set in place the week of March 12th

Phase II

– Engineering firm has been selected

– Start of Architecture and Engineering is on hold waiting for funding for Phase II

– Canon Talarico and Studio 31a have visited two of the three companies that are vetting for the restoration of the large windows and creating of the stain glass.

Trusses Welded

CHICAGO, IL – Trusses 1, 2, and 3 had final hip connection pieces welded on last week. After all are complete they will be sandblasted and painted and will be ready for delivery early March!

Final Steel Delivered!

Chicago, IL – The final pieces of steel have been delivered to the fabrication shop!! Six of the eight trusses have been fabricated and are ready to be primed and painted. Trusses No. 7 & No. 8 start fabrication next week. The delivery date to the Shrine is scheduled for the first full week of March!

1950s Photos and Statue

CHICAGO, IL – Canon Matthew Talarico and A Elizabeth Ortner made a visit to Daprato Rigali Studios this week. It was a visit full of wonderful surprises! Daprato Rigali is one of the companies that is being interviewed for the restoration of the windows and the creation of the stained glass. It is a family owned company with a long history, including a history with St. Clara/St. Gelasius. The photos below were provided to us from their archive. It is of a May Day celebration in the 1950’s when the Shrine was the National Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux.

There is a statue in the 1950’s photo of St. Elias. To our surprise, this statue was at the Daprato Rigali Studio! Thank you, Bob Rigali, for the wonderful visit.

Steel Milestone!

CHICAGO, IL – Truss No. 4 is in fabrication. This is a huge milestone, as we are now more than halfway done with completing all the steel fabrication!

Just to note, in previous updates as well as this update, when a Truss is mentioned all the miscellaneous steel that is attached to that truss is also being fabricated. The focus is on the large trusses, but all the smaller steel pieces, purlins, plates and angles are also being fabricated along with each truss.

Photos of Truss No. 4 in the shop… …

January 2018 Update

CHICAGO, IL – An update for the work done in January 2018 at the Shrine

Phase I

– Cold weather has limited the working days this month

– Cold weather protection screens have been installed around the scaffolding at the interior west wall

– Propane tanks are being used to heat the protected scaffolding area. This heat will allow the masonry work to continue

– Truss No. 1, 2, 3, & 5 have been fabricated

– 1/26 WJE made a site visit to the steel fabrication shop to inspect Truss No. 5

– Miscellaneous plates, bent angles and purlins have been fabricated that are associated with Truss No. 1, 2, 3, & 5

– New Delivery date is set for March 5, 2018. Weather and steel fabrication delays have pushed the delivery

Phase II

– Request for Proposals for HVAC Performance Specification and for Engineering have been evaluated

– Two engineering firms were interviewed and the Shrine Team is making a decision on who to move forward with

William Heyer Architects, WHA, has been engaged to start Phase II design

– Three bids have been received for the restoration of the large steel frames. The same company will also continue on the project and create the stain glass windows. Canon Talarico and Studio 31a will be visiting each of the shops to get a better understanding on the production process of each shop

Behind the Scenes

CHICAGO, IL – Work continues behind the scenes at the Shrine! Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) has provided Truss Lift Diagrams. These are diagrams of the trusses and show the pick points for the crane lift. This becomes part of a written procedure for the replacement of the trusses. The complexity of this process is great, and the procedure will help define the process. Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) will provide a review of the process. In the design process, these drawings are called shop drawings and are reviewed by the engineer of record. It is similar to “measure twice, cut once”.

(Click photos to enlarge each diagram.)

Mid-January Update

CHICAGO, IL – Due to the very cold temperatures, masonry work could not continue this past week. However, more brick and materials have arrived, and winterized scaffolding is now completely in place to continue work on the west elevation (above choir loft) once temperatures become a little warmer.

The steel trusses continue to be fabricated at the Southside shop. Truss No 1, 2 & 3 are done. Truss No 5 (photo at left) is being laid out and will be inspected by the engineers next week. By the end of next week half of the eight trusses will be fabricated. Due to the large size of the trusses, maneuvering them for the work in the shop is itself a time-consuming process. Angles/channels for purlins are being cut as well. Purlins are roof framing steel beams that span perpendicular to the trusses. Date of delivery still to be determined.

December 2017 Work

CHICAGO, IL – Update of the work done in December, 2017 at the Shrine:

Phase I

– East Pediment masonry wall tuckpointed

– Purlins removed from the West and Interior East Pediment Walls

– Scaffolding installed at the West wall above the choir loft

– Demolition of masonry at interior face of West Pediment wall

– Warming rooms created for winter conditions

– Temporary electrical set up

– 12/15 Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) site visit to steel fabrication shop to inspect Truss No. 1

– Truss No. 2 & No. 3 in fabrication

– Miscellaneous plates and bent angles have been fabricated

Phase II

– Request for Proposals for HVAC Performance Specification and for Engineering sent out to a fourth engineering firm