THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CATHOLIC CHURCH
Built between 1891 and 1904, the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church is the oldest standing Catholic church in Seattle. Its interior (walls, ceilings, beams, arches, etc.) is decorated with oil on plaster stenciled designs, while its columns are marbleized. The substrate for the painted decoration is smooth plaster.
The 70 foot high dome contains a unique mural, representing the Virgin Mary. The entire dome is covered with a hemp blanket The central ﬁgure of Virgin Mary was painted with oil based colors on canvas and then mounted to the hemp support. The sky and clouds were painted directly on the rough hemp support. It is possible that, in this case, the hemp blanket was used for acoustical reasons.
The interior of the church was damaged by ﬁre in 1993. The dome mural, as well as the interior decoration of the church, were restored by RARA in 1995.
RESTORATION THE OIL ON PLASTER DECORATION CONSISTED OF:
- Consolidation of the plaster support layers that have become detached from the masonry walls and ﬁlling the missing areas with plaster compound, similar in composition with the original one
- Consolidation of ﬂaking and delaminating paint layer
- Replicating the large areas of missing (burnt) designs
RESTORATION OF THE DOME MURAL CONSISTED OF:
- Reattaching the canvas mural (image of Virgin Mary) to the hemp blanket support