Saint Thomas Church

New York, NY

Saint Thomas Church was designed in the Gothic Revival style by Ralph Adams Cram and Bertram Goodhue and completed in 1913. The church is built of load-bearing masonry, without steel reinforcement, and the vaulted ceiling of the nave is of Guastavino tile with stone groins. The exterior is clad in limestone and the interior features an elaborate reredos designed by Goodhue and sculptor Lee Lawrie. The church is a New York City Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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challenges

  • Conduct a close visual inspection of the limestone façade, carved stone reredos, stone groins and Guastavino tile vaulted ceilings in order to assist the project team with planning for protection during a major construction project adjacent to the church (1995).
  • Install remote monitoring equipment at the stone reredos (2000).
  • Inspect roof drains for leaks (2003).
  • Perform periodic inspections of the exterior masonry (2003, 2004, 2010, 2013).
  • Identify potential areas of delamination within the Guastavino tile vaulted ceiling (2012).
  • Inspect and clean the intricate stone reredos (2016).

solutions

  • Used industrial rope access to perform a hands-on and close-visual inspection of the exterior and interior masonry.
  • Provided live feed video for interaction with architectural conservators and structural engineers on the project team.
  • Used a See Snake fiber-optic camera to document conditions of the roof drains.
  • Performed infrared thermography of the Guastavino tile vaulted ceiling in order to identify potential areas of delamination.
  • Used industrial rope access and customized vacuums to complete inspection and cleaning of the stone reredos with no impact to church services or events.

building owner

  • Saint Thomas Church

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