Chicago, IL

Shrine of Christ the King


On 7 October 2015, a fire at Shrine of Christ the King significantly damaged the building. The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest undertook a fundraising campaign to stabilize and restore the 1923 church. SGH investigated the condition of the exterior walls after the fire and developed a restoration program.

SGH visited the site to assess the stability and condition of the exterior walls following the fire. Highlights of our work include the following:

  • Developed shoring and wall removal plans to help the contractor create an opening below an existing window to extract fire debris from the church
  • Surveyed the exterior limestone and interior brick masonry of the transitional masonry walls and typical window conditions
  • Evaluated the gutter system and water paths
  • Performed non-destructive testing to identify locations of metal ties securing the exterior limestone and evaluated their condition

We recommended phased repairs to stabilize and restore the church, and developed order-of-magnitude cost estimates for the Institute to use as they planned and budgeted for the work. We subsequently developed a repair program, including the following:

  • Stabilization. Replacing displaced and missing stones, repairing damaged interior brick masonry, installing supplemental masonry ties to improve lateral support, repairing spalled and cracked concrete slabs and beams and replacing limestone lintel in the tower.
  • Repairs to address water infiltration. Replacing the roof and gutter system, improving site drainage at grade, repairing horizontal skyward-facing joints in limestone, restoring/replacing windows and door fenestrations, and replacing sealant joints.
  • Facade restoration. Repairing damaged limestone, pointing failed mortar joints, and cleaning masonry surfaces.

SGH also reviewed the truss design to locate erection pick points and determine the required capacity for equipment used to pick the truss from the crane.

Project Summary



Completion Date
Building Enclosures | Structures
Culture & Entertainment
Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
Specialized Capabilities
Repair & Strengthening | Temporary Construction | Condition Assessments | Preservation

Key team members

Peter Babaian
Peter Babaian
Building Technology Division Head, Chicago