In 2014 and 2015, Central was engaged by Duke University to work on repairs to the vaulted ceiling of Duke’s iconic chapel: the preeminent structure on Duke’s Collegiate Gothic campus.
Prior to the restoration of the vaulted ceiling, Central had to reinforce the limestone ribs from above in Phase One of the project. Here, a Central employee drills pilot holes into the top of the limestone rib as part of the concrete reinforcement.
Custom wood forms, designed by Central to sit on a curved surface, were built so concrete could be poured. The first phase of work was extremely challenging due to the logistical difficulties of maneuvering throughout the attic space.
Prior to commencement of Phase 2, a mock-up of the limestone rib ceiling was fabricated by Central staff. Key personnel were brought in to test the best methods for cutting out the full depth of the existing mortar joints and for tuckpointing the joints back in order to re-establish the integrity of the stone arches. This pre-planning proved invaluable and led to significant cost savings for the University.
In 2015, Phase 2 work initially consisted of repairs to the under-side of the vaulted ceiling structure - beneath the reinforcement repairs that were performed from the attic space in 2014.
Additional pipe scaffolding was erected for direct access of the limestone ribs.
To avoid staining and damage to the decorative stones, joints were masked with tape.
During the project, Cental's scope expanded to include masonry repairs to the elaborate Window Tracery detailing.
Repairs were also completed to the exterior decorative finials.
Spalling concrete from the ceiling of the Bell Tower also needed to be addressed.
In 2014, Central was engaged by Duke University to work with engineers on two-phase repairs to the vaulted ceiling of Duke's iconic chapel: the preeminent structure on Duke's Collegiate Gothic campus. Eighty years after its construction, many of the mortar joints between the limestone ribs of the ceiling had cracked or opened which led to loss of compression and created the need for restoration and renewal. By the time of completion in October of 2015, Central's repair scope had expanded to include repairs of the intricate window tracery and decorative finials. This work was performed by Central's trusted tradesmen who moved from the Chicago area to Durham for the duration of the project. The best outcome of this project is that, from an aesthetic standpoint, nobody can tell what we did - inside or out. This project is a favorite of Central's President and Duke University alum, Tom Rivkin.
In a note to Tom Rivkin from Ray Walker, Staff Architect for Duke University working in the Office of Project Management: "Please convey the University's appreciation for their dedication and superb workmanship to each member of your team."