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St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church

Cram & Ferguson Architects, LLC

Posted: April 10, 2018 | Projects

St. Kateri Tekakwitha is a 12,400-square-foot, 450-seat Gothic-inspired church completed in 2015. It was erected on the site of a 100-year-old brick Gothic-style church that was destroyed by a tornado in 2012. 

Design challenges included building to code for the seismic zone of the New Madrid Fault. The steel frame was designed and constructed to resist shaking from potential earthquakes and the shear forces of wind from a major tornado. There is also a reinforced vault located in the basement of the building – in case of another storm. It is intended for St. Kateri to be the safest building in Ridgway, Illinois, in which to ride out any inclement force of nature. 

The interior is designed to seat 435 people in pew seating. The floor is sloped to the rear to improve line of sight to the altar. The original altar, virtually undamaged in the tornado, was reinstalled in the new building, and became the main focal point of the sanctuary. 

While the exterior is faced with local limestone and trimmed in cast stone, the building reprises some of the same compositional themes of the original brick church, while drawing on a wider range of Gothic examples. 

The 95-foot-high bell tower houses the original peal of bells that was in the previous church’s tower, and is capped by a 70-foot-high steeple. The resulting 165-foot steeple is visible for miles around, and is the tallest object in town – making the church a landmark and a guiding light for those who have lost their way. 

St. Kateri Tekakwitha is just an example of how faith and good architecture can build on adversity to become stronger and more prepared for the forces of hardship through faith and good planning. 

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Building Envelope: Continental Cast Stone, Earthworks
Membrane Roofing: Firestone
Synthetic Slate Shingle Roof: EcoStar, LLC 
Exterior Doors: The Maiman Company
Custom Aluminum Window Frames: Caff Company
Stained Glass: Jacksonville Art Glass
Steeple: Campbellsville Industries, Inc.
Bell Restoration, Mounting, Carriage & Controls: The Verdin Company
Lighting: Specialty Pendants, Elliptipar, Source Four, The Lighting Quotient, Kurt Versen Company

PROJECT TEAM

Architect 
Cram & Ferguson Architects, LLC
23 Bradford Street, Fl. 2
Concord, MA 01742
www.cramandferguson.com

Structural Engineer 
Hodge Structural Engineers
22 Chestnut Street
Evansville, IN 47713

Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
McCoy & Howard Consulting Engineers, Inc.
413 Main Street
Mount Vernon, IL 62864

General Contractor
Poettker Construction
380 S. Germantown Road
Breese, IL 62230

Location: Ridgway, Illinois
Date Bid: Mar 2014
Construction Period: Jun 2014 to Nov 2015          
Total Square Feet: 12,400
Site: 2 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Sizes: Basement, 1,440; first floor, 9,140; mezzanine, 1,020; additional level, 800; total, 12,400 square feet.  
Building Height: Basement, 11′; first floor, 13′8″; main roof ridge, 48′ above grade, tower roof, 70′ above grade, steeple, 145′ above grade.  
Basic Construction Type: New/III B/Structural Steel
Foundation: Cast-in-place, pier & grade beam, slab-on-grade. 
Exterior Walls: Stone.
Roof: Membrane, synthetic slate shingle. 
Floors: Concrete. 
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.

View full project details in magazine issue March-April 2018

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