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St. Francis of Assisi Facade Investigation & Replacement, Staunton, VA

Originally constructed in 1895 and designed in the English Gothic style, the existing exterior mass walls of the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church consist of green serpentine stone laid in a random ashlar pattern and backed by three wythes of brick masonry.  The existing stone had undergone extensive deterioration, causing pieces to spall off and posing a serious risk.  Due to the historic nature of the church, it was imperative that the repairs preserve the original condition of the building.  WDP designed a façade replacement and repair program that recreated the exact existing stone pattern, as well as an exterior shoring system and demolition / reconstruction phasing plan that permitted unrestricted use of the church interior during execution of the project.  The exterior of the church was scanned to determine the exact size and shape of each exterior stone.  Each stone was assigned a unique number and new green granite stones were cut to replicate the original stone and are currently being replaced in the exact location of the original stone.  Hygrothermal analyses were conducted to permit selection of materials to minimize any change in moisture vapor movement through the wall system to protect the integrity of the original horse hair plaster used in the interior wall finish.

Historic research was undertaken to determine the design of the original spires on the bell tower that had been replaced in the 1970s.  As a part of the work, the original spires will be fully replicated and installed in their original locations.