The day after Labor Day, 2021, a team of masons began the process of building the sanctuary walls. This team will be on site for many weeks as they painstakingly build the walls, block by block.
The first course of block is laid on top of the thick foundation walls. Each succeeding block layer is carefully checked to see that the walls are straight and true, until they eventually rise to the level of the roof trusses. The block walls are grouted with cement and reinforced with steel rods. In various places the walls also tie to the steel columns. Also, wooden forms have been delivered to the site. These forms, in the shape of half circles, begin to suggest the look of the church windows and doors. In a few days these door and window openings will be evident.
The beginning of the mason’s work also signals the end of the excavator’s work backfilling around the building. This process involved moving piles of sand and soil back up against the foundation walls until only a few feet of water-proofed foundation protruded from the ground. Each soil layer is compacted and rolled to reinforce the foundations. Eventually, the little bit of protruding foundation walls, and the entire block wall, will be covered with a second layer of the traditional “Redeemer red brick”.
Block is laid on top of the foundation walls (note white/green waterproofing).
Steel rods (right) protrude from the block wall.
A large, red lift truck (background) carries pallets of block to the wall.
A two block course (chancel steps) inside the church was completed first.
Hydraulic scaffolding raises the masons and their block, higher & higher.
A half-round ‘sunburst’ pediment will fill this form above the front doors.
Three slightly smaller half rounds will form the top of the sanctuary windows.
The front of the church (soon to be the porch) is leveled at grade.
Only a few feet of foundation walls protrude from the ground.