Baltimore Basilica of the Assumption | Restoration

This restoration of the Basilica of the Assumption required four years of preconstruction planning, including many prototypical installations. Phase I included an underground concrete vault housing public toilets, storage rooms, new mechanical spaces, and the excavation of the undercroft and underpinning of most of the building. This was performed while the building was still open for daily mass. Doing our best to dampen noise and vibration, Lewis excavated over 250 CY of earth for the addition of the adjacent underground addition. This necessitated underpinning both the cathedral and sextant’s lodge, next door, and provided headroom needed for mechanical rooms, a 40 seat chapel and general public access. Interior excavation had to be done with hand shovels and wheelbarrows due to access and the delicate nature of the building.

Phase II was the reframing of all roofing and reintroduction of 24 skylights into the dome; and the restoration of the building’s exterior. Phase III included the interior restoration and upgrading of all systems. The project duration was 30 months. The first nine months of construction had to be worked around a daily church occupancy. The project was surrounded by streets and alleys on four sides—three of which are major arteries that could not be blocked—staging space was at a premium, and parking was non-existent.

Baltimore, MD
  • AIA Institute Honor Award
  • ABC Baltimore Excellence in Construction

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