National Shrine of St. Frances Cabrini
SGW was retained to oversee the restoration of this significant property on Chicago's north lakefront
Frescoes, statuary, altars, the baldacchino and the pipe organ that adorn the interior have all be faithfully restored, and brightened with new lighting. The walls of the choir and transepts, and the barrel vaulted ceiling have been enhanced by complimentary colors harkening back to the original scheme, and gold leaf decorative borders are derived from patterns in the original bronze work.
An airy, curving narthex was created to reconcile the various angles of the site; at its heart is the colorful crest of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus embedded in the terrazzo floor.
Mother Cabrini’s bedroom has been carefully recreated as it was when she died there, and is surrounded by a new historical exhibit designed by SGW to explain her life and works.
The newly visible exterior of the chapel was repaired while the copper dome was re-clad. A new classical stone entry peristyle is a welcoming gateway from the neighborhood, and a serenity garden provides a haven of tranquility.