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Paul Kramer

My Favorite Project

ST LEO THE GREAT CATHOLIC CHURCH

MY 'WHY'

  • The historic presence and architecture of the church as well as it being iconic in our community. 

  • The close relationships and life-long friendships that were made with Fr. Austin Vetter, the building committee, and contractors.

  • The challenge of performing the work during the unforeseen circumstances surrounding the historic flood of 2011.

This architectural design was performed by Paul while employed at another firm.

St. Leo The Great Catholic Church
Minot, North Dakota

Exterior and structural restoration of the 125 year old historic church including additions to improve accessibility

BRIEF
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The historic church was constructed in 1908 and served its parishioners for over a century, a lack of proper maintenance had left the masonry structure and metal roof system in dire need of restoration.  The existing metal tile roof was original to the building, and the “mask jointing”  which was performed in the 1970’s, led to significant damage to the solid masonry wall system. Replacement of 5,000 bricks, combined with solid tuckpointing, chemical cleaning and sealant along with limestone infill and repair of old openings provided a solution to the masonry defects.  The entire roof was replaced with an ornate zinc-coated metal shingles which emulated the original roof when it was constructed. Tail ends of rafters were re-fabricated and the un-insulated attic spaces were insulated to meet current energy code.  Ornate metal works, spires and crosses were repaired and refinished. Bell Tower spire connections, which had rusted away, were replaced along with the bells themselves, which had not rung in decades, were completely restored.  Two Narthexes, inside of the church, were added to enhance the utilization of space and the existing aesthetics this was accomplished by coordinating the original architectural elements. New lighting was added to the main Narthex as were all other entry points to the church.  The two spires were also illuminated with high output LED lighting, creating a glowing statement in the downtown Minot landscape.

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