Latest Updates

Coupon Testing at the Shrine

CHICAGO, IL – Coupon Testing was done yesterday at the Shrine. What is Coupon Testing?

Coupon testing is essential in the design of renovations of steel in historic buildings to understand the yield strength of the steel and the chemical content to determine the feasibility of welding to the new steel. When the carbon content of the existing steel is known the new steel can be made to make welding feasible.

Coupon Testing at the Shrine
Coupon Testing at the Shrine
Work at the Shrine
Work at the Shrine

The Shrine & the Community

Since the Shrine’s inception in 2004 under the leadership of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Shrine community has multiplied its members from all ages and backgrounds, developed many traditional Catholic devotions, and hosted cultural and civic events such as concerts and neighborhood meetings.

Help the Shrine continue to be an instrumental and vital part of the Chicago Community!

Tension Testing

CHICAGO, IL – Tension Testing was done on Friday, August 4th to test the strength of the stainless steel rods in the new brick and bond beam construction. 5-7 layers of existing brick were removed to install new brick with a bond beam on top. 24” stainless steel threaded rods in a mesh sleeve are installed every 8” alternating 16” o.c. (on center). These rods tie in the existing brick to the new construction creating a stout bond and strengthening the top of the wall. This is all preparation work for the new steel trusses.

Resurrection from Ashes


Our Campaign to Restore a Landmark, the Shrine of Christ the King

The Shrine, a center of Catholic Faith & culture for the local Woodlawn neighborhood, the entire Chicago area, and beyond

We hope you will join us in our ongoing campaign to restore the Shrine. Your generous assistance is critical to our effort to restore this landmark building and continue as a bridge-builder in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago.

Read our Campaign Case Statement in full!

Campaign Case Statement

Donate Today!

Interior of the Shrine
Interior of the Shrine

Preparing for Steel Installation

CHICAGO, IL – Preparation work continues at the Shrine for installation of the steel.  New brick was been laid and old brick has been *tuckpointed in preparation for the installation of the bond beam at the top of the north parapet wall.  The bond beam will stabilize the wall during the steel replacement.

*Tuckpointing in general, refers to the process of repairing mortar joints in stone or brick masonry wall by grinding or raking out the old mortar to create depth and then filling in with new mortar.

Summer Progression

CHICAGO, IL – Brick at the top of the masonry wall is being removed today in preparation for the installation of a bond beam. The bond beam will provide structural support for the wall during the replacement of the steel.

See the Progress!!

CHICAGO, IL – Scaffolding has been removed and the concrete repairs to the decks and the beams has been completed! The limestone lintel on the south face of the tower (seen in the photos below) was extremely compromised in the fire, leaving the structural integrity questionable. The lintel was removed and replaced with a concrete beam. The existing concrete beam below the lintel was also removed and replaced with concrete. Each level of the bell tower received concrete patching in areas where the fire damage was the greatest.

These photos show before and after. How wonderful it is to see the progress!

Warm Weather = More Work at the Shrine!

Chicago, IL – Preparation work for the installation of the steel has begun at the Shrine.  The interior plaster wall demolition has also started.  The walls being opened to the elements for two winters has unfortunately damaged the plaster beyond repair. Thankfully though, last fall the interior of the church was digitally preserved through a scanning process which will allow for a compete rebuild of all the interior details of the columns, freeze and other plaster details.

Interior plaster wall demolition
Prep work for installation of the steel

Field Inspection

CHICAGO, IL – Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) was on site today with Raffin Construction and Berglund Construction for the field inspection of the concrete pours in the bell tower that were done during the mild winter.  The fire had caused structural damage to the limestone and concrete lintel as well as the concrete slabs at each level of the tower.   The lintels were replaced with new concrete lintels and the floor was spot patched to ensure structural integrity.

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