Virginia Mae Center

Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

The Virginia Mae Center on the Washington National Cathedral campus in Washington, D.C. serves as the new home for the Cathedral College of Faith and Culture. The building originally opened in 1929 as the College of Preachers, which provided continuing theological education for clergy members nationwide. It operated until the 2008 financial crisis forced the college to cease operations. The building has sat unoccupied since its closure.

The College of Preachers was renovated and reimagined as the Virginia Mae Center. The facility is being rehabilitated to act as one of the primary hubs for a new program arm of the Cathedral, the Cathedral College of Faith and Culture, whose intention is to provide programming through the Institute for Music, Liturgy and the Arts, the Institute for Ethics and Public Engagement, and the Institute for Spirituality and Leadership.

During renovations, it was determined that the decorative lobby ceiling was in need of repair. EverGreene was contracted to help restore the ceiling to its former glory and become a strong focal point in the lobby. Our scope of work started with surveying and documenting the ceiling. Once the areas in need of work were clearly defined, our team of conservators got to work on aqueously cleaning the entire ceiling. Areas that had heavy salting were desalinated using a poultice, loose paint was consolidated and some paint flakes were re-adhered where appropriate. A piece of spalled concrete salvaged by the client was re-adhered using epoxy to fill in any areas where material was still missing. The final step was to apply a matte, UV light stable varnish to the entire ceiling to help form a barrier between the existing ceiling and the treatments performed by EverGreene.