We all knew something needed to be done, and in 2015 we decided to do it. Our little chapel was crying for help.
The picture was grim, with spalled bricks, subflorescence blooming across the façade, the wrong coatings holding in moisture instead of letting it escape, failed flashing, rotting woodwork, cracked walls, and loose parapets combined with the inevitable march of time and the effects of the environment.
The flashing and gutters along the crenellated parapet and the parapet caps themselves did not handle water when it rained and in fact had allowed water to enter the walls and begin its insidious work of deterioration.
The original protective coating of the chapel — a thin layer of lime putty stucco — enabled moisture and salt to escape. At some point modern latex paint was applied, which held water in and encouraged the streaking and subflorescence around the windows and buttresses. This was more than charmingly unattractive — it endangered the historic fabric of the building.
Modern caulking applied around the windows froze during the winter months and cracked our beautiful, soft, old brick. Modern sealants on the roof flashing funneled water into the walls.
The tower woodwork was exposed to the point of rotting; the half-round, concrete parapet caps were loose and pulled away from any protective flashing that remained
Responding to the situation, the vestry contracted with Waters Craftsman of Huntly, Virginia, to repair our chapel. The project included repair of the tower roof and parapets, reconstruction of the parapet caps on the east and west sides, and repair of the rear parapet wall that is adjacent to the parish house. The façade itself was stripped and coated with a historically appropriate lime coating.
The cost? The project has come in under our planned budget of $450,000. To pay for the repairs we pulled together funds from several sources: an additional $100,000 from the loan for the parish house project and $200,000 from the principle of the Stoudemire Chapel Fund, $75,000 from the Buildings and Grounds Fund, $53,000 from the Capital Fund, $27,000 from the income of the Cobb Fund, and $6000 from the income of the Cobb Chapel Fund.
Now we must apply ourselves to replenishing those funds through contributions and planned giving opportunities. The capital fund is our rainy day safety net. To make a donation to the chapel restoration fund (the Capital Fund), click here.
To find out more about planned giving opportunities, click here.
What the chapel means to our parish and this congregation is nigh impossible to put into words. It is a powerful presence on campus, on Franklin Street, around the Diocese, and across the Anglican communion. It is a symbol, a totem, a beacon, and a reminder. It has a storied history, yet every day someone who needs it discovers it anew.
Here’s to the next 170 years.