St. Paul's Chapel Roof Replacement & Exterior Restoration

Construction Update for July 24, 2018

The leaded-glass windows in the cupola have been restored and reinstalled, and installation of the terra cotta tiles (crafted from the original tile molds) has begun around the dome. 

In addition, façade cleaning has commenced.

The stained-glass windows are expected to begin reinstallation in the dome later this month.

July 24, 2018

About the Chapel Restoration

Facilities and Operations has embarked on a project to replace the roof and restore the exterior of St. Paul's Chapel, including façade cleaning and restoration of the upper stained-glass windows. This work is critical to preventing any future damage to the interior of the building.

The historic terra cotta roof tiles will be replaced consistent with the original architecture of this landmarked building, one of just three on Columbia’s campus (the other two are Low Library and Casa Italiana). The work is being performed in phases, and protective scaffolding will remain around the entire perimeter of the chapel for the duration of the project.

Phase I work has focused on the lower-level roofs around the perimeter of the dome. The tiles have been removed and the roof structures below are being repaired. During Phase II, which began in March 2018, the scaffolding has been extended to the dome and within the chapel interior, allowing tiles to be removed and replaced from the dome, and the stained-glass windows around the dome will be removed and restored. Once restored, the windows will be reinstalled with protective glazing, as the lower Chapel windows are today. The project also entails masonry repair and cleaning of the façade.

Work is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2019.

The stained glass windows in the dome are being removed and restored

Construction Update for June 15, 2018

Sixteen stained-glass windows from the dome have traveled to a conservation studio for cleaning and repairs. Once they are restored, they will be returned to the Chapel dome and reinstalled with protective archival glass to prevent future damage.

Inspection of the Guastavino tiles in the ceiling of the dome is complete, and the necessary repair work will start in July.

Replacement roof tiles, crafted using the original tile molds, are expected to begin installation in late June.

Construction Update for May 15, 2018

Removal of the exterior tile on the dome is underway, and the interior ceiling tiles are being examined so needed repairs can be identified.

The stained-glass windows around the dome have been removed, with temporary boards in place to prevent weather damage. Architects and preservation experts have made meticulous records of each window, including rubbings to help document areas of special attention.

In summer 2018, the windows will travel to a stained-glass restoration studio for cleaning and repairs; once they are restored, they will be returned to the Chapel dome.

Construction Update for April 27, 2018

Removal of the stained-glass windows to allow for their restoration began earlier this week, after significant weather delays. Additionally, repairs to the sloped roof and the lower dome roof are well underway, with modern waterproofing materials being installed in alignment with the traditional construction methods used originally in the Chapel.

Construction Update for April 6, 2018

Interior scaffolding is now complete, to facilitate the removal and restoration of the stained-glass windows in the dome. Work is commencing the week of April 9 to begin removal of the windows prior to their restoration; this process is expected to take approximately two weeks.

Construction Update for March 9, 2018

Tile removal on the sloped roof below the dome is complete. Over the next few weeks, additional scaffolding is going up around the dome, and during the week of March 12, interior scaffolding installation will begin.

Some intermittent noise from construction-related activities is to be expected. In addition, as equipment for the interior scaffolding is transported from the street, Facilities and Operations may need to temporarily close either the north or south walkway around the Chapel at upper campus level.

A platform scaffold has been installed in the dome, to facilitate removal of the stained-glass windows and restoration of the dome ceiling tiles

Construction Update for January 16, 2018

As of January 16, the new scaffolding has been installed, extending over the sidewalk along Amsterdam Avenue.

Construction Update for Jan. 11, 2018

Weather permitting, on January 12 and 16, we are installing a scaffolding extension across the Chapel Gate and over the sidewalk, to permit safe debris removal.

Construction Update for Nov. 21, 2017

The Chapel Gate has reopened after a temporary closure for scaffold installation reaching the lower roofs to the left and right of the dome. Work will commence on replacing and repairing the roofing system.

Construction Update for Nov. 10, 2017

Beginning today, scaffolding around the Chapel is being changed in preparation for the restoration project. One of the perimeter walkways will be closed at various times while the scaffolding is installed. Please use caution when in the vicinity, as large equipment is being moved in and out.