The restoration of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

Dedicated in 1875, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston endures as spiritual home and community resource for thousands of Bostonians. Folan has restored the exterior of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the Archdiocese of Boston’s “mother church” and largest Roman Catholic Church in New England on two occasions. The first restoration project was led by the late Patrick J. Folan in 1983.

ClientRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, 66 Brooks Drive , Braintree, MA 02184ServiceHistorical masonryYear2015 - 2018

We had the opportunity to fully restore the Cathedral in 2015. Work performed as follows: In field areas of the wall, the mortar joints were found to be very brittle and loose. We cleaned all Roxbury puddingstone and natural stone surfaces to remove all built up carbon and stains using detergent cleaner and a pressure washer. While this was a very time-consuming process it was the only way to restore the natural beauty lost by the harsh weathering.

At the select deteriorated and spalled natural stone, we square cut the repair, cut out all defective material to sound substrate. After all cleaning and preparation was complete, the natural stone was patched using Jahn by Cathedral Stone Products custom blended to match the existing.

There were however, several deteriorated natural stone units which were far beyond a patch repair and needed to be custom fabricated and replaced. Folan was able to install replacement units to match the existing stone units in size and profile.

Other improvements included the installation of bells from the nearby closed Holy Trinity Church. The bells had been retuned and restored at The Verdin Company of Cincinnati, Ohio had been returned. Folan then installed structural steel reinforcement components in the main tower, and hangers for the new bells. These bells had electronic strikers installed instead of traditional swinging bells. The project was completed with new custom manufactured fiberglass louvers.

His Eminence Seán Cardinal O’Malley, OFM Cap. blessed the newly restored bells prior to them being hoisted in the tower.