Snapshots: Restoration in action!

Here’s a snapshot of some of the work that’s been happening at Unity Temple.

We are lucky at UTUUC to have several photographers documenting this process for us. In particular, we have Ralph Earlandson, a member of our communications committee, and Dan Crimmins, the president of our board of trustees.

Dan took these photos at the end of August, 2015.

BlogPhoto1Looking from the edge of the upper east balcony of Unity House into the skylight. The lay lights have been removed, and workers are preparing for the removal of the remaining wood trim, the ceiling plaster, and the skylight itself. A new skylight will be installed in October, and it will have a lower profile that matches the light-colored peak above the circular opening.

BlogPhoto2The view from the upper east balcony of Unity House over the “dance floor” toward the south wall. The dance floor is an elevated scaffold that allows the workers access to the full ceiling surface for removal of the trim and plaster.

BlogPhoto3A carpenter removes nails and engraves identification numbers into the backing boards after oak surface trim is removed. The view here is from the upper east balcony of Unity House, looking across toward the west balcony where another crew is performing the same work.

BlogPhoto4On the exterior of the building, loose, cracked and damaged surface concrete (called “shotcrete”) has been removed in a process called “chipping”. Revealed below is the original structural cinder concrete which will be prepared to receive newly applied shotcrete. This photo shows the different concrete materials on the large planter near the east terrace.

BlogPhoto5Carpenters document and remove wood trim from the ceiling of Unity House for restoration. The view is from the west balcony of Unity House, looking east.

BlogPhoto6The familiar columns on the north side of Unity Temple, facing Lake Street. The art glass has been removed and sent to a conservator in Los Angeles; a protective piece of plywood is its temporary replacement. The columns are unique in that they are the only portion of the exterior surface that is original to the building. All other exterior surfaces were replaced in 1974 with the shotcrete that is now being restored.

We’ll be sharing more photos soon!

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