This summer and fall scaffolding will go up and tuck-pointing will begin on the brick surrounding The Basilica’s dome. Tuck-pointing, or repointing as the process is now better known, involves renewing the external part of masonry mortar joints. Over time, weather and decay cause voids in the joints between bricks, allowing the undesirable entrance of water. As we know all too well at The Basilica, water entering through these voids can cause significant damage.
You might be thinking, “Didn’t we just repoint?” And the simple answer is yes, in 2016 we repointed the bell towers, and in 2017 work was done on the sides and front of the building.
Others may be wondering, “how often are we going to need to repoint?” What we know now is that to keep the water out we must work on sections of the building every year as part of our ongoing maintenance. We have plans to repoint sections of the church from 2018-2022. And, like many historic buildings and churches in Europe have found, by the time all sections have been repointed it might be time to start back on one of the sections that was repointed earlier.
Repointing is not a glamourous project, but it is so very important to keep The Basilica free of water, which we know is essential for all current and future restoration projects. It is a project at the very heart of The Basilica Landmark’s mission, which is to preserve, restore, and advance the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations.
An ongoing project like this can seem daunting. But after more than a decade as a staff member, I have seen first hand this community’s passion and support to keep The Basilica of Saint Mary standing strong as a beautiful architectural landmark and as a building of hope for all those that walk through our doors.
In 2009 we started what is now The Basilica Landmark Annual Fund. Our goal was to raise $30,000, which at the heart of the recession seemed like an impossible task. However, due to incredible community support, we raised more than $40,000 the very first year, and last year we raised nearly $300,000.
In the past decade, The Basilica Landmark has invested more than $11 million in our campus facilities. In 2018, with your help, we will ensure the stability, accessibility, and functionality of our beloved Basilica building by repointing the church dome, rebuilding the south Basilica school entrance, and upgrading our church sound system and lighting.
Our century old building stands magnificently in the Minneapolis skyline, but requires constant care to endure for generations to come. Help preserve our shelter with a gift to The Basilica Landmark Annual Fund. Contact Stephanie Bielmas for more information.
Your donation ensures that the building of hope can continue to serve as a haven for all who come.
BASILICA LANDMARK BALL: ILLUMINO
SATURDAY, MAY 5, 5:00-11:30PM
SOLAR ARTS BUILDING
Join us for an evening celebrating the Building of Hope at the Solar Arts Building in NE Minneapolis with dinner, dancing, and fantastic giving opportunities benefitting The Basilica Landmark. To purchase tickets, visit thebasilicalandmark.org. For questions or sponsorship opportunities, contact Holly Dockendorf.