Cathedral of St. Joseph

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Finished restoration for Cathedral of St. Joseph, Sioux Falls, SD Photo: Kevin Miles

When renowned architect Emmanuel Masqueray designed the beautiful Cathedral of St. Joseph, his vision extended beyond what the original builders and decorators were able to accomplish with the Cathedral's completion in 1915. Still, its landmark, twin spires rise above the city of Sioux Falls, South Dakota as a beacon of hope.

In 1942, Conrad Schmitt Studios decorated and painted the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 2008, the Studios' staff of permanent artists and craftsmen returned to conduct an historic paint investigation. They uncovered artistry that would help guide the creation of a decorative sample. Careful examination also revealed a host of visible damage.  

The remnant of Masqueray's designed elements, like the incredible relief work throughout the Cathedral, had been obscured by years of function and neglect. A great deal of basic infrastructure and architectural decoration required attention. Eight painted layers and original decoration had delaminated and began to sag and peel away from the substrate. Decorative plaster around the Cathedral's beautiful stained glass windows suffered some of the greatest damage (see before and after photos below).

Conrad Schmitt Studios seized the opportunity to conserve the Cathedral's artistry and restore its decorative character. Today, this comprehensive decorative restoration reflects Emmanuel Masqueray's original design. The interior has been renewed with the removal of damaged paints; plaster patching and repair; priming; painting; subtle polychroming highlights, soft glazes and touches of gold leaf on ornamental plaster; fine art murals; new baldacchino and restoration of the Stations of the Cross.   

"It's really a great gift...hopefully it will invigorate all. Not only those who are Catholics but those who come here and see this beacon on the hill as a sign of hope in a world, when we need signs of hope," said Bishop Paul Swain.



   View additional Cathedral & Basilica
   before/after restoration photos
   here in this 4 minute slideshow.




Our work on the Cathedral was honored with the 2011 Religious Architecture Award sponsored by Faith & Form magazine and the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA). The awards program honors the best in architecture, liturgical design, and art for religious spaces.

View the Video of the 2012 Picture it Painted Professionally (PIPP)
award from the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA)

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