Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Springfield, Illinois

The architecture of the ceiling of the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, Illinois took its original design cues from Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major) in Rome. The objective of this restoration was to more closely emulate the look of the Cathedral’s design inspiration. This was accomplished by creating trompe l’oeil canvas panels for the coffers and 23K gold leaf.

The canvas panels were created with a nine-layer stencil of leaf, paints and lacquers to provide the appearance of a dimensional rosette. Acoustical panels, designed by Graham and Hyde Architects, were strategically placed then installed by Harold O’Shea Builders, before the canvas panels were applied. The Cathedral was completed in the fall of 2009.

An article published in Traditional Building Magazine “Roman Effect” can be read here, and a downloadable PDF can be printed out.

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

View this beautiful footage of the re-opening of the Cathedral.

Restoration of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception – Photo: Terry Farmer


Click on a thumbnail image below to view a larger photo.