Latest Updates

Roof Assembly

CHICAGO, IL – All the work this week is on paper at the Shrine. The Roof Assembly went in for City of Chicago Building Permit. (Below is the cover sheet to the drawings). William Heyer Architect is the architect of record. The roof assembly will be installed after the steel is erected this summer.

Overhead of Shrine Roof Photo Credit: Devon Neff
Overhead of Shrine Roof
Photo Credit: Devon Neff

Concrete Poured

CHICAGO, IL – Yesterday Berglund Construction poured concrete at the first level deck of the bell tower.  The weather turned too cold to pour concrete in other areas.  The second and third decks are prepped for the concrete pour once the weather warms.

The broken limestone lintel at the second level was removed and replacement will occur when the weather warms.  Due to cold weather, construction will hold until the temperatures rise above 40 degrees.

Concrete Lintel Work

CHICAGO,IL – Below are two photos of the same concrete lintel at the base of the bell tower. The first image is of the damaged lintel before the damaged concrete was removed.  The concrete that surrounds the steel beam was then removed and it revealed the steel beam encased within is still in good condition which is shown in the second photo.  Knowing the steel beam is in good structural condition, new concrete will be poured to protect the beam.  This concrete work will be done this coming week.


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!