The Comprehensive Renovation of St. Paul’s: Project 2010
Over the 130-plus years since its construction, St. Paul’s has continued its vibrant life within the Rome community without major reconstruction or renovation. Though the church and rectory have been diligently maintained, time has taken its toll.
The last several years have been spent in evaluating the structural conditions. Tests and mock-ups have been performed to arrive at the best restoration methods for the various building components. This study has been carried out by David B. Yager, a restoration architect with Yale University, and the architectural firm of Studio Einaudi in Rome, along with local contractors specializing in various aspects of restoration work.
Restoration of the church and rectory will include:
- Repair and replacement of roofs
- Cleaning and restoration of the masonry and detail, both exterior and interior
- Renewing and securing of leaded glass and stained glass windows
- Cleaning and restoration of all of the decorative artwork
- Repair and stabilization of brickwork and marble walls
- Repair of leaks and elimination of water damage to the ceiling and interior walls
- Strengthening of the structural elements of the sanctuary floor
As of 2010, the cost of the renovation is estimated to be approximately $3.5 million. The end result will be a Victorian Gothic architectural treasure restored to its original grandeur and able to serve the community of Rome for years to come.
Project Update Spring 2013
The first comprehensive renovation of St. Paul’s and the rectory since their construction was begun in 2005 with investigation of the structure, testing of cleaning processes, and determination of the best repair methods for the masonry, windows, and other elements of the Church. The work is now in process; the original beauty of the marble and masonry has been brought back to much of the building exterior.
Restoration of the Bell Tower and the Main Facade
The work on the main facade on Via Nazionale has recently been completed, along with the bell tower and courtyard entry. The damage to the mosaics above the entrance doors has been restored and the tesserae put back into place. At the same time, the rondelles have been repaired and the missing rondelles re-made. The rose window was also inspected and damage repaired. At the same time, the interior of the window and surrounding stone work has been cleaned. The detailed stone work at the level of the bells has been restored and cleaned. Pigeon netting has been installed to protect these areas and keep pigeons out of the tower. The original travertine marble of the roof has been repaired and a restoration coating has been aplied to preserve the stone.
In the summer of 2012, temporary scaffolding was erected inside the apse of the church in order to inspect the Burne-Jones mosaics and investigate possible new lighting solutions for the apse, During the investigation, evidence of water infiltration was discovered in the lower corners of the mosaics. This area corresponded to the locations of the gutters and downspouts on the exterior. Upon further inspection, cracks were found in the lead roof. Based on this information, and recognizing that the Burne-Jones mosaics are the priceless jewels of the church, it seemed reasonable to make this the next phase of the restoration.
We hope you will consider taking part in the restoration of St. Paul’s. We seek not only to preserve this Victorian Gothic gem – used, visited, and appreciated by so many every day — but to ensure that its many ministries that serve and unite the people of Rome will continue for future generations as well.
Gifts may be made payable to “The Board of St. Paul’s, Rome”
Please state in the memo portion of your check that your contribution is to be specifically for the restoration fund.
Robert V. Edgar, Treasurer
1215 5th Avenue, 9c
New York, NY 10029, USA
St. Paul’s Within the Walls
Via Napoli 58
00184 Roma, Italy
If you wish to donate publicly traded securities, please call Bob Edgar at 212-686-2564 and he will provide you with the instructions for transferring the securities to the Board of St. Paul’s.