Enlisting the help of acclaimed restoration architects Frens and Frens of West Chester, the chapel received a thorough assessment to determine the extent of the repair work that would be needed to restore it back to its original glory.
“Right now, we are focusing our attention on the areas of the building that require the most attention,” said John Carey, Vice President of Special Projects for the Washington Memorial Heritage, a secular nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of the building.
Portions of the chapel are showing visible signs of deterioration from three main causes: deferred maintenance, problems in the original design, and poorly completed repairs.
As part of this phase, special attention is being paid to fixing leaks in the roof, ensuring that cracks in the masonry are sealed, and testing various cleaning agents and methods to bring back the luster of the chapel’s original stone and masonry work. This portion of the project should last eight weeks and wrap up around the holidays, according to Carey.
“We worked very closely with the chapel and Frens and Frens to ensure that the first phase of the restoration process would be finished before the busy holiday season,” he said. “The next phase isn’t scheduled until the spring, but we want all of our members and the public to know that we are in full operation during construction.”
The Washington Memorial Chapel Committee is continuing its fundraising campaign to support the next phases of the restoration process.
“As many can see, we are already putting the money we raised to good use by ensuring that we create a structurally safe building while still maintaining the integrity of the chapel,” said Jason Griggs, the committee’s chairman. “By enlisting the help of Frens and Frens, who are the best in the business, we can all rest assured that the chapel, and all that we hold sacred, is in good hands. That’s why I am really looking forward to the next phase of this campaign.”
Construction on the next phase of the chapel is slated for the spring, and will include more intricate structural improvements. Formal groundbreaking ceremonies are expected at that time.
Click here for more information on the Washington Memorial Chapel or to contribute to its restoration efforts.