National Shrine of St. Frances Cabrini
SGW was retained to oversee the restoration of this 6,000 sq. ft. property on Chicago's north lakefront.
Frescoes, statuary, altars, the baldacchino and the pipe organ that adorn the interior were all faithfully restored and brightened with new LED lighting. We also enhanced the walls of the choir and transepts, along with the barrel vaulted ceiling, using complimentary colors that harken back to the original scheme. We incorporated gold leaf decorative borders, derived from patterns in the original bronze work, as well.
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.
Our team carefully recreated Mother Cabrini’s bedroom as it was when she died there. It is now surrounded by a new historical exhibit that SGW designed to explain her life and works.
The newly visible exterior of the chapel was repaired, and the copper dome was re-clad. A new classical stone entry peristyle with custom bronze doors is a welcoming gateway from the neighborhood, and a serenity garden provides a haven of tranquility.