A small masonry contractor uses some innovative onsite stone repair procedures to renovate the First Lutheran Church in Johnstown, PA. During the course of the job, 34 tons of original cast stone was moved and replaced. The cost was $500,000.

In September 1996 M. Grey Restoration/Conservation first learned of the monumental yet rewarding challenge proposed to our crew in Johnstown, PA. The church is primarily a granite loadbearing structure built in 1919 that had survived two major floods.

The church exterior features a number of cast stone elements: door and window jambs and heads, buttress caps, water tables, band courses, louvers, and arches—all being structural as well as ornamental.

There were four phase of the restoration and repair project: Phase I—Learning about cast stone repair; Phase II—Recasting and repairing the damaged cast stone elements; Phase III—Restoring a buttress and spire matching those in Phase II, a large stained-glass window, and three main entrances with granite steps; Phase IV—Restoring the bell tower.