At the heart of John Brown University's campus, the Cathedral of the Ozarks, Art building, and Engineering building form the “Cathedral Group.” The group was built between 1945 - 1957 with concrete block made by students and faculty. They intended to add stone veneer, but the project was never completed due to insufficient funds.

Recently, a crew of 10 - 20 masons from John McBride Construction refinished the buildings with 8000 sq ft of stone veneer. They adhered the 1½-in. thin cut limestone with mortar, in an ashlar pattern. Each window and arch was field measured and the stone cut piece-by-piece. The unfinished concrete block walls had leaked over time, so the masons installed wire lathe and a felt vapor barrier to keep moisture from between the block and stone veneer.

The Cathedral Group now has a new look, designed to match the stone of the nearby mausoleum of John Brown, Sr., the university's founder and first president.

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Project Participants

Owner: John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Ark.

Masonry Contractor: John McBride Construction Co., Gravette, Ark.

General Contractor: Flintco, Springdale, Ark.

Masonry Suppliers: US Stone, Herington, Kan., NorthWest Cast Stone, Greenland, Ark.