Latest Updates

Return of the King!!

CHICAGO, IL – The restored Infant King statue is returning to Woodlawn! The iconic 18th-Century Spanish wooden statue of the Infant King, crowned by His Eminence, Francis Cardinal George at the Shrine in 2007, and an object of veneration by devotees from around the country ever since, was damaged in the fire of October 7. Despite the fire, water, and smoke, the statue remained standing in its usual place above the altar, even as much of the roof overhead burned and collapsed. Many hearts were amazed and overjoyed when firefighters carried the statue out of the smoldering church.

Even though it was spared from total destruction, the statue nevertheless sustained extensive heat and smoke damage. In addition to the damaged finish of the wood, its hand was broken in the fire. After the Shrine was given to the Institute in February, the statue was sent to a specialized restorer in Germany, where its total restoration was completed over a six month period.

Throughout the fire and its aftermath, the rescued statue was a poignant symbol of hope for the Shrine community, and an encouragement to persevere in restoring the Shrine as the home of the Infant King. On the first anniversary of the fire, on October 8, the restored Infant King statue returns to the Shrine community, once again as a symbol of hope, fortitude, perseverance, and the compassion of Jesus Christ, Our King.

The total cost of restoring the Infant King statue and the acquisition of a new portable baldachino (to allow a more secure and more frequent presentation of this antique piece in processions), is close to $10,000. What a testimony of love and devotion it would be if we could raise this amount by October 8, the day we welcome back the restored statue to the Shrine! Please help us by making a donation to the Shrine’s restoration fund. Every dollar collected from this day forward will be applied to the restoration cost of the statue!

Building Permit Issued!!

CHICAGO, IL – It is with great joy and prayerful thanksgiving that we announce the Institute of Christ the King’s Shrine and Raffin Construction Company have received the Roof Replacement Structure building permit from the City of Chicago’s Department of Buildings!

The description of permitted work is as follows: “Remove existing fire damaged roof structure and install new roof structure matching original landmark building structure as per plans.”

 

SGH’s Façade1 Restoration Investigation Report

CHICAGO, IL – Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, SGH, has provided a draft report investigating the façade1 conditions for the Shrine of Christ the King church: Façade Restoration Investigation. The ninety-two page report goes into great detail of the existing conditions with photo documentation. This report encompasses the original drawing review and field investigation that concludes to recommendations of work to be done.

The recommended scope of work can be broken down into three parts:

1) Stabilization Repairs are limestone and brick masonry repairs that need to be done to steady the structure. These conservations will be done as part of the roof replacement project.

2) Water Infiltration Repairs deal with providing a weather tight structure and include roof gutters, site drainage, limestone, windows and doors.

3) Façade1 Restoration is all other maintenance projects to the limestone, brick and concrete that are not critical to structure or weather.

The division of the scope into three parts helps with spreading the cost over the Phases of the project. Below are excerpts from the report.  

1 Façade is not just the front entrance to the church (the west wall) but the whole building.

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.