After 100 years, Mount St. Michael is showing its age.
A beautiful historic building such as Mount St. Michael is a joy and a privilege to those of us who call it our parish church, school and home, but alongside the inspirational legacy of faith and tradition of a century comes the attrition and slow decay any such structure undergoes over that many years. A visitor walking the halls of Mount St. Michael may marvel at how well preserved it is, but those who take the time to look more closely especially at its exterior don't have to be experts to see that certain areas are badly in need of repair and restoration. For example:
Above the statue of St. Michael at the front entrance, for example, the terra cotta is flaking away and moss and weeds are growing in the cracks — the same deterioration is evident in many other areas, but especially at the parapet. Then there is the missing cross on the top front of the building; it collapsed in a wind storm several years ago. The three other crosses are also badly damaged.
And these are just the things that are the most noticeable.
As with any structure of this age, there are many ongoing projects and maintenance issues at any given time, some of which are handled by our paid maintenance man. Obviously, however, one man cannot possibly handle all the work that this building requires, and we rely heavily on the generosity of volunteers in the parish to step forward to help with repairs and other work where they can. Many of these projects require little or no training, while others may be for those who have experience in certain areas.
For more information about current projects and those planned in the months ahead, please go to this page: Mount St. Michael Volunteer Projects
However, because Mount St. Michael is on the National Historic Registry, certain repairs of this beautiful edifice can only be made by qualified experts who are experienced in the restoration of historic buildings.
After researching the issues we face here at Mount St. Michael, we determined that two main issues in particular require professional services:
- Restoration of Brick Masonry and Terra Cotta, which in some areas is in a state of significant deterioration. This work is being done in segments as we are able to fund it.
- Stained Glass Window Restoration Project: COMPLETE. This project involved repairing and re-cementing the windows and frames as well as installing new protective covering. The $105,510.98 needed to fund this work was raised by Easter of 2015. As for the actual restoration itself, it was completed in mid-January of 2016, except for some finishing touches and one piece of painted glass which was replaced in the spring.