St. Vincent de Paul

Germantown, PA

The cornerstone of the St. Vincent de Paul Parish was planted in Germantown, Pennsylvania, on September 2, 1849. The Church was built up to be a stunning mix of Italianate and Greek revival styles. However, over time water damage has taken its toll and destroyed elements of the interior. Consequently, EverGreene was brought on to restore St. Vincent’s. Our scope of work included addressing flat and ornamental plaster damage through stabilization with chemical consolidation and mechanical fastening.  Our team painted, reinforced, and repaired plaster on the walls and ceiling surfaces.

Additionally, many murals deteriorated due to water damage as well as post-historic interventions of a lesser quality than the original artwork. Our intention was to reinforce the salvageable murals and improve their aesthetic presentation by undertaking a conservation maintenance treatment program comprised of immediate stabilization, light surface cleaning, removal of accessions, application of an isolating varnish, and inpainting.

We replaced three murals and four medallions with figures that represent St. Vincent de Paul’s history and inclusive community. St. Vincent de Paul draws strength and unity from diversity. We worked closely with the parish leaders to carefully chose each individual. The nave ceiling medallions feature our Lady of China, our Lady of Stono River, our Lady of Nigeria, and Our Lady of Guadaloupe. The remaining murals display images of powerful individuals within the Catholic Church that made progress for the African-American community, performed great works of charity, or represent the LGBTQ+ community.

Throughout the restoration, mass continued to be held at St. Vincent’s. We planned our scaffolding and processes accordingly in order for parishioners to attend comfortably.