The yearlong restoration of Duke Chapel began May 11 with construction crews focusing on preparing Duke’s signature building to rehabilitate the limestone ceiling and replace its original roof. While the building is being worked on, Chapel services will be held in various locations on campus. For service details and answers to other questions, see our Restoration FAQs page.

August Update

Window Tracery Repair Underway

Interior and exterior restoration, including new roofing and gutter installation, is continuing at Duke Chapel. 

A focus for crews has been repairing mortar joints in decorative limestone around the upper part of 31 large windows.

“Over time, the mortar holding the limestone pieces in the upper part of the windows has either cracked or loosened,” said Ray Walker, project manager and Duke Facilities Management staff architect. “Virtually all windows in the upper level of the Chapel need some mortar joint repair.”

The window restoration involves grinding three to four inches deep of old mortar around the joints in each window tracery, smoothing the surface and refilling with new material.

Crews have also begun vacuuming limestone dust from the ceiling mortar joint repair, and woodworkers are expected to begin refurbishing oak carvings in the chancel and transepts soon.