St. Mary’s Chapel



St. Mary’s Chapel was the first Seminary Chapel in North America. Construction started in 1804 and completed in 1806. All materials were brought from England, Spain and France by sailing ships. The Chapel was christened in 1806.

The project consisted of a complete restoration of the Chapel’s exterior and roof. Any new decorative wood, brick, stone or metal was custom fabricated to match the original materials.

We repointed the mortar joints, repaired the slate roof, and replaced the copper standing seam roof over the two Narthexes. All of the original wall capstones were cleaned and reinstalled or replaced with exact replicas of the original. The wall top was flashed with 20-gauge copper sheets before the capstones were reinstalled.

After we carefully removed the old, clear protective cover, the six stained glass windows, which came from Lorraine, France in the mid 1800’s, were cleaned by restoration experts. The original cover allowed heat to build up and caused the windows to bow. A.R. Marani designed and installed a new cover made to allow air circulation to dissipate heat.

All new 6” copper half round gutters and round copper downspouts were fabricated and installed. A complete lead paint abatement was carried out. The exterior wood doors had ornate carved wood trim, some of which was worn, damaged or missing. By surveying all of the doors we were able to determine what all the trim should look like and have new pieces hand carved and installed.

Missing or damaged bricks from the façade were replaced. Some of these were half round or curved and new ones were made on site by the masons. The original brick pavers in the walk circling the Chapel were originally used as ballast from sailing ships. The old pavers were carefully removed, the beds reworked to provide a level walkway, and the original bricks were mixed with new rough textured pavers of the same size and color to rebuild the walks.

Project Details:
Architect Murphy & Dittenhafer, Inc.
Size Exterior
Cost $1.48 Million