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  • Client

    Trinity Parish of Seattle

  • Architect

    SMR Architects

  • Location

    Seattle, WA

  • Space

    Church exterior
    Bell tower and cupola spires
    New stained glass window protection

  • Market

    Historic Renovation, Nonprofit, Civic

  • Features

    Beth Chave Historic Preservation Award for Exemplary Stewardship
    Seismic upgrades

W.G. Clark was selected to evaluate and perform a complex restoration of this historic landmark church. Trinity Parish Church was originally built in 1892 and expanded in 1902. It is distinguished by its Wilkerson sandstone exterior and figural stained-glass windows, which were fabricated in Germany. The project involved extensive preconstruction planning to evaluate the best approach to renovating significant exterior portions of the structure, along with developing a maintenance plan to prevent future problems.

W.G. Clark and SMR Architects worked together to develop highly detailed plans for restoration, which were approved by The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. During investigation, the team found that hard Portland cement mortar had been used for tuck pointing in prior restorations, so the soft Wilkerson stone couldn’t expand and contract properly with temperature and moisture changes. Multiple layers of sealants and caulking had not helped — the solution required removing the old, incompatible mortar and replacing it with a custom-formulated, historically accurate, lime putty mortar. W.G. Clark ensured the success of the restoration by facilitating a detailed six-hour seminar to show the masonry crew how to use and install the lime putty mortar.

Work included replicating and reinstalling historic stone crosses on top of the gable end walls. The bell tower and cupola spires were re-roofed with cedar shingles made from reclaimed cedar stumps. The belfry louvers, cupola, windowsills, and jambs were restored. Yellowed plexiglass window protection was replaced with new polycarbonate that restored the brilliance of the stained-glass windows. W.G. Clark is proud to have been part of a team that brought this beautiful and historic church back to life.

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