Basilica of St. Josaphat Maintains its Landmark Presence
Late-80’s vintage look at original copper dome replacement, with FJAC tower crane providing access in foreground.Sheet metal foreman Jason Thelen applies his expertise to solder a copper gutter joint at the Basilica of St. Josaphat, high above Milwaukee’s south side.
More than 30 years ago, F.J.A. Christiansen Roofing Co. crews helped restore the grandeur of the historic Basilica of St. Josaphat on Milwaukee’s south side. That work held up incredibly well, but three decades of exposure to Wisconsin weather prompted the need for maintenance work on copper gutters and roof transitions recently.
“We looked at all the copper joints and re-soldered where needed, including the whole gutter system and copper panels on ledges,” said Jeff Keller, FJAC sheet metal superintendent.
FJAC was part of the 1988 refurbishing of the church that was required after a storm damaged a portion of the copper roof. The current exterior work includes masonry tuck pointing, re-caulking and wood painting. The gutters and transitions were in relatively good shape, thanks to the quality of work done 31 years ago, noted Max Bade, FJAC project manager. “Many of the joints were in good condition, so this maintenance work could be done very efficiently,” he said.
FJAC’s Jason Thelen was sheet metal foreman for the project.
The church was originally constructed between 1896 and 1901, primarily using materials from the deconstructed U.S. Post Office in Chicago – shipped to Milwaukee on 500 rail cars. The church dome rises 250 feet above the affronting Lincoln Avenue. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.