New Life For The Old Cathedral
Missouri Valley Glass
Window Design Consultation
Jack Hornsey, Independent Sales Rep
Greg Turnage, GAP Sr. Project Design Engineer
Custom window based on 1500/6800
The Basilica of St. Louis, King, now known as the Old Cathedral, was dedicated in 1834, although the site’s original structure was constructed in 1770. This project was to be the first major restoration of the Old Cathedral, rectory and museum in more than 50 years.
The Old Cathedral, America’s first cathedral west of the Mississippi, was undergoing a $12-14 million restoration – the Cathedral’s first restoration since it and the 62 acres of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial surrounding it were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. As such, the window portion – a totally custom job designed to replicate windows from 180 years ago – would require National Park Service approval. And a great deal of imagination.
“The windows surpassed all expectations. They were totally surprised and delighted that the windows cut off most of the highway sounds. And that their energy bills have been cut substantially. The new windows are so air and water tight, the energy savings to the customer have been dramatic.”
Jack Hornsey, Independent Sales Rep
Restoring "A Timeless Treasure"
The Basilica of St. Louis, King, now known as the Old Cathedral, oozes history. Completed in 1834, the Old Cathedral became the first cathedral west of the Mississippi River. It is the fourth church to stand on the site of the original log chapel, which was dedicated at the time the parish was founded in 1770.
"By every civic and spiritual measure, the Basilica of St. Louis, King – known fondly as the ‘Old Cathedral’ – is a timeless treasure,” said Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, in the letter that kicked off the campaign for the Old Cathedral.
The Old Cathedral was embarking on its first major restoration in more than 50 years. Included in the plans drawn up by the architectural firm of Mackey Mitchell were windows that would likely match those that filled these same openings nearly two centuries ago. And while the Old Cathedral is not a part of the National Expansion Memorial, it is a National Historic Landmark. As such, the windows required National Park Service approval.
In an effort “to be as historically accurate as we could be from the information we had,” Independent Sales Rep Jack Hornsey and Greg Turnage, GAP’s senior project design engineer, went back and forth with the general contractor, Musick Construction Company, and the architect.
“We had to make sure what we were going to make was going to meet the requirements of what the NPS approved,” Hornsey said. “Drawing it is one thing; Making a window to match the drawings is a process.”
Turnage put together the designs, dies and everything else necessary to meet the wants and needs of the architect. The Graham solution was a completely custom, replication window that looks like a hung window, but is, in fact, fixed and is based on Graham’s 1500/6800 Series. The final tally included 14 large, round top hung replication (fixed) at 91” X 219" and five large ancillary windows, round top and square (92” x 149”).
The result? A treasure restored, with some additional benefits that delighted the owner.
“The windows surpassed all expectations. They were totally surprised and delighted that the windows cut off most of the highway sounds. And that their energy bills have been cut substantially.” Hornsey said. “The new windows are so air and water tight, the energy savings to the customer have been dramatic.”