Basilica of the Assumption
Client: Basilica of the Assumption Historic Trust
Project Type: Comprehensive Interior & Exterior Restoration; Historic Structure Report; Non-destructive Evaluation
WINNER OF 2009 INSTITUTE HONOR AWARD FOR ARCHITECTURE BY THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS
As the first Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States, the Basilica of the Assumption, also known as the Baltimore Cathedral, is a major landmark in the history of religion in the U.S., and the architectural masterpiece of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the U.S. Capitol.
The exterior of the Basilica and its grounds were completely restored to the designs of Latrobe and Archbishop John Carroll. The lower roof was returned to its original configuration and the domes were re-sheathed in their original materials.
As the first step in a comprehensive restoration of the Basilica, John G. Waite Associates, Architects prepared a historic structure report, performing a comprehensive analysis through nondestructive evaluation and testing to measure existing conditions. With funding from the Getty Grant Foundation, JGWA also researched and created prototypical skylights and a nave window that were constructed to their original details.
Today, sunlight again pours into the Basilica through restored skylights and clear glass windows in the nave and sanctuary, an effect that is heightened by the recreation of Latrobe’s pale neutral color scheme. The project also created a new crypt, chapel and museum, along with state-of-the-art mechanical and accessibility systems.