Overcoming outside challenges

August 29, 2002
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


The restoration of the First United Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL, was met with a few unforeseen challenges. Black soot from the early 1900s steel industry had accumulated over 100 years and covered the sandstone facade of the city's oldest Methodist church. In fact, it had looked black for so long, some members of the congregation were opposed to having it cleaned. Masonry Arts, Inc. of Birmingham - contracted by Church conservators - assisted in explaining the restoration process to the congregation.

"I am pretty sure that there were nearly no church members who saw the building in its original condition," said Creig Stanfield of Masonry Arts. "A lot of people were resistant to the change because a black church was all they knew."

Once the congregation agreed to the cleaning, the stains were cleaned with ProSoCo Enviro Klean Restoration Cleaner. A crew of four people cleaned the 31,000-square-foot church in sections 7 to 10 feet wide and 15 feet tall. The cleaner was brushed on and allowed to dwell for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinsed at 700 psi with heated water.

During the restoration process, the weather became a problem in trying to clean the building.

"We started to clean the church during the summer, when the city was in the middle of a drought, and the city had a ban on unnecessary watering," said Stanfield. "The police shut us down for several weeks, which went on into the fall."

Once the ban was lifted, the crew went back to work, but not without another obstacle. This time, the city was hit with very cold temperatures.

"When we were able to get back to work, the cold slowed the chemical process of cleaning the stone," said Stanfield.

When the cold air subsided, they went back to work and were met with no other challenges for the rest of the cleaning process.

"After we cleaned the building, we went back and sealed the veneer with ProSoCo Sure Klean Weather Seal H40 and had no problems," said Stanfield.

After the building was cleaned and sealed, the appearance of the sandstone underneath the soot made it all worthwhile.

"The stone now exhibits its original natural range of colors and is beautiful," said Stanfield. "The church's motto for the project of 'Let All That is Old, Be New Again' sums up the project nicely."

END BOX

First United Methodist Church, Birmingham, AL

Contractor: Masonry Arts, Inc., Birmingham, AL
Stone Restoration Products: ProSoCo, Lawrence, KS

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Stone World 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

November 2013 Stone Products Gallery

Take a look at some of the latest stone industry products.

THE MAGAZINE

Stone World Magazine

April 2014 stone world cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of Stone World, check out an extensive preview of Coverings 2014, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in April. Also learn more about various types of limestone that were used to build private residences.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

CSTD_Spring2014_Cover.jpg

2014 Spring

This issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design includes our annual focus on Kitchen and Bath design

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Training Program

How formal is your training program for new employees?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How_To_Polish_&_Restore_Mar.gif
How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Italian Trade Commission Coverings exhibitor preview

Italian Trade Commission logo 2

The Italian Trade Commission is presenting a large group of the most innovative and internationally renowned Italian suppliers of dimensional natural stones. We hope your busy schedule will allow you to join us for a “genuine” espresso in booth N. 4045 and explore the exciting Italian natural stone resources offered by our exhibitors. Check out Italian stone producers exhibiting at Coverings 2014 here!

  

Stone Industry Education

stone industry educationStone Industry Education is sponsored by Stone World Magazine and Marble Institute of America. The SIE events will help you: strengthen your skills, build your business, and  increase profit in your shop.  Check out stoneindustryeducation.com to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook logo Twitter  YouTube