The $1 million restoration of St. Sebastian church in Akron, Ohio led by
Perspectus Historic Architecture: Chambers, Murphy & Burge Studio is now complete. The restoration project marks the 90th anniversary of St. Sebastian Parish, established in 1928.
To kick off the celebration, Bishop Nelson Perez of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, celebrated Mass and the dedication of the restored church (c. 1960) on Saturday, June 30th. Joining Bishop Perez was the parish’s pastor, Father John Valencheck; pastor emeritus, Father William Karg; and parochial vicar, Father Anthony Simone.
The project included cleaning the carved and ashlar stone at the front façade all the way to the bell tower. The St. Sebastian shield just under the peak of the roof has been conserved, reviving its finishes and the gold trim was patched with new leaf. A new wheelchair ramp has been added to access the main entry.
The granite front steps are restored, and the plaza is expanded and repaved with porcelain pavers in a pattern that resembles the ceramic tile pattern at the church entry.
One of the most impressive parts of the project is the magnificent tesserae mosaic behind the altar. The tiles were cleaned, patched, replaced those that had fallen off, and the matrix restored. The lighting that shines on the mosaic was updated to show off its beauty.
The ornamental bronze and brass work on both the interior and exterior of the church was conserved with Renaissance wax to improve and protect its natural color.
Over 10,000 square-feet of terrazzo floor has been refinished.
All 113 pews and kneelers were taken offsite where the anachronistic finishes added throughout the years were stripped and the pews restored to their original finish.
The funds for the project were raised through St. Sebastian Parish’s capital campaign, “Cornerstone of our Faith,” launched last May.