Stone Temple Baptist Church

Project Details

Client:Stone Temple Baptist Church
Location:Chicago, IL
Year Completed:2020
Category:Public Facility

Project Overview

The Ridgeworth Roofing team is always thrilled to provide a building with a high-quality roofing system. There’s a special satisfaction, though, in helping bring a historic building back to its former splendor. That’s what we got to do for Stone Temple Baptist Church in Chicago.

Steven Bruno of Bruno’s Tuckpointing contacted Ridgeworth in early 2020 about the historic renovation of Stone Temple Baptist Church, a landmark church on Chicago’s West Side. We were happy to hear from Steven, as we’ve worked with Bruno’s Tuckpointing on a variety of public and private projects in the past. We looked forward to the opportunity to work together again.

“Rod and Ryan are very professional, and they go the extra step to make sure the job’s done right,” says Steven.

Stone Temple Baptist Church was originally a synagogue, built in the North Lawndale neighborhood in 1925-1926 for Jewish immigrants from Romania seeking an escape from anti-Semitism in their homeland. The area grew into Chicago’s largest Jewish neighborhood and became known as “Chicago’s Jerusalem.” After the neighborhood transitioned to a predominantly African American community in the 1950s, the synagogue was purchased by an African American congregation led by Rev. James Marcellus Stone and became Stone Temple Baptist Church. The congregation actively supported the civil rights movement, and Dr. Martin Luther King would often visit the church to preach. The church was approved as a Chicago landmark in 2016.

Prior to preparing a bid for the project, the Ridgeworth team reviewed the plans drawn by Bauer Latoza Studio, who had oversight from Landmarks Illinois, a nonprofit organization that promotes the preservation and restoration of historic buildings and sites. After Ryan Patrick met with Steven Bruno for a visual inspection of the church, the Ridgeworth team prepared a specification to meet the various IECC and Chicago codes and submitted a bid. Steven was responsible for the masonry project and pricing, and the project was awarded in late Summer 2020.

The church had existing damage that was allowing water to enter the building, so the Ridgeworth and Bruno’s Tuckpointing teams worked together to patch all holes prior to starting the scope of the work. Onsite logistics were challenging, and the building’s listing on the Chicago historical register brought various departments within the City of Chicago into the process. Careful collaboration and thoughtful planning helped move the project along smoothly.

The Ridgeworth team worked closely with the Bruno’s Tuckpointing crew as they worked on the masonry restoration of the inside and outside parapet walls, the replacement of deteriorated brick and stone, and the removal and replacement of the stone coping joint sealant. Ridgeworth provided access to the interior parapet walls while keeping moisture out of the building throughout the course of the project. When the Bruno’s crew completed the masonry work on the interior walls, the Ridgeworth team removed the steep-sloped and low-sloped valley roofs.

“Tuckpointers and roofers often clash with when the work needs to be done—who goes first and who goes second,” says Steven. “Working with Ridgeworth, they’ve always taken into account that we need to get our work done, too, so we get our work done as quickly as possible to the highest of quality.”

The Ridgeworth team then installed a combination of flat- and nail-base insulation on the steep-slope roof area and the required waterproofing underlayment, followed by two layers of thermal insulation as required by the IECC codes. They then installed an adhered TPO roof system in the valley and low-sloped areas.

Ridgeworth’s steep-sloped subcontractor, Filotto Roofing, installed the selected architectural shingles.

Stone Temple Baptist Church now has a roof that should give them years of watertight service. Ridgeworth Roofing is proud to have contributed to this project and to have helped restore an important piece of Chicago history.