August 3, 2022

Garry Martin reviews a set of background drawings, photo by Berggren Architects

Berggren Architects has provided the Centenary United Methodist Church of Beatrice, NE with a comprehensive assessment of their building conditions. This assessment includes a proposal for a multi-phase restoration project, the first and most urgent phase being the repair of the deteriorating church tower.

Initially struck by lightning in the late 1990s, repairs were not sufficient to prevent subsequent rotational shifting action, potentially caused by seismic activity. Currently, portions of the tower are misaligned, shifted, and some even dislodged. Fallen pieces include several small finials and crockets. One medium-sized pinnacle, approximately four tall, was removed to ensure it would not fall.

While some of the tower repairs can be made in-situ, other sections, including the entire southwest spire, must be disassembled and the stones pieces reset. Disassembling the spire provides a valuable opportunity to investigate potential design flaws within all four spires.

Bulley & Andrews Masonry Restoration, an experienced stone contractor based out of Chicago, has been chosen to complete this first phase.

Once this phase is completed, successive phases may include repairing structural deficiencies, exterior damaged stone, wood fascia elements, and interior plaster walls. All future phases will be coordinated with the owner’s budget.

Berggren Architects is excited to oversee this project. We look forward to seeing this beautiful church return to its former strength and resiliency.


See photos of the current tower condition below:

Joints of a spire had been filled with caulking

Stone of a pinnacle had been replaced by brick

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