Scaffolding up at St. Vincent de Paul – The South Side Treatment Begins

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view of the south side of the church

The beginning of 2015 started off with a large project at the south side of St Vincent de Paul. It’s really exciting because this is the “window” we had originally been contacted to assess 4 years ago when members of the church noticed water damage along the sill. Since the damage was happening intermittently and at a slow pace; we decided with the church to start with smaller windows to familiarize ourselves with conditions specific to the building’s architecture and to streamline our treatment process.

This approach paid off tenfold. As you can read in previous posts, Nzilani now has intimate knowledge of key components of the Century Studios production process, and how the windows interface with the rest of the building.

As a result of our past work, we were able to stream-line the removal of the “Christ the King” panels (69 in total). The treatment process is also going faster – without compromising the integrity of the work.”

Typically, south facing windows deteriorate faster (and with worse damage) than windows facing other directions. These windows fit this criteria. Compared to the other windows; the lead cames were more oxidized and weaker, there was more putty loss (and as a result panel bowing), and the wooden frames around the panels were damaged by constant exposure to the sun and water damage.

The windows are also directly over the main entrance to the church and “float” above the choir balcony, which is used weekly by the voice choir, organist and bell choir.

Part of our treatment scope is ensuring our on-site work is as minimally invasive to our clients as possible.”

This is a perfect example of how we worked with the church to accommodate their needs. The outside was covered with “shrink wrap” to avoid dust and debris falling onto parishioners who enter the church multiple times every day for worship.

Equal care was taken on the inside, where we covered the scaffolding with clear plastic and protected corners of detailed woodwork holding the organ pipes with ethafoam. Of particular interest was maintaining access to the organ console for use, while protecting it while we worked. We created a sealed alcove that enabled organists to safely play while staying clean and unencumbered by our labor. We were rewarded with unofficial performances as they practiced – one of the lesser known perks of working in religious spaces.

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view from inside the church, near the organ

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