The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento, Calif., was built in 1889 as the mother church for the diocese of Sacramento. A modified basilica, the 45,000-square-foot structure is 100 feet wide and 200 feet long with a bell tower that rises 217 feet into the air. Its primary worship space seats more than 1,400.
The building has been renovated several times previously. In 1932, the original inner dome was replaced with an articulated raised dome ceiling. Eight years later, the original gothic-style high altar was modernized. As a result of Vatican II changes to the liturgy, the altar was moved to a central location in 1970 to allow the priest to face the congregation. In 1989, a new copper roof was installed.
The latest renovation in 2005 was designed to address issues such as water leaks; seismic & structural deficiencies; problems with the worship space’s functionality, lighting & voice amplification systems and lack of main floor bathrooms; and overall inadequate plumbing and electrical system problems.
When it came time to choose protective coatings for the historic religious preservation project, challenges to consider included cracked plaster over brick in some places and exposed brick in others. Additionally, the building’s intricate design meant a brush and roller application process would be time-consuming.
Series 63-1500 Filler & Surfacer was first used to fill holes that had been drilled to anchor the scaffolding. Next, Series 151-1051 Elasto-Grip FC, a penetrating, flexible and low-odor waterborne polyamine epoxy primer, was applied to the exterior wood windows, followed by an intermediate coat of Series 156 Enviro-Crete, a modified waterborne acrylate, and a finish coat of Series 29 Tufcryl, a water-based acrylic polymer coating.
For the exterior masonry walls, over 2,500 gallons of Series 151 and 156 were applied to provide beauty and protection.
New exterior metal windows were primed with Series 135 Chembuild, a high-build epoxy coating that provides excellent adhesion, followed by a topcoat of Series 29. All bare cast iron was primed with Series 135 and finished with Series 1075 Endura-Shield, an acrylic polyurethane, for graffiti resistance as well as color and gloss retention.
The renovated cathedral was rededicated and reopened in November 2005 and stands ready to meet the needs of the diocese well into the 21st century.