Having completed numerous renovation projects in historic Duke Chapel over the past twenty-five years, Romeo Guest Associates was selected by Duke University to manage and coordinate the high profile restoration and renovation of this prestigious structure. Work commenced with the removal and off-site storage of pews, furniture, furnishings and ceiling mounted chandeliers to facilitate the erection of scaffolding for safe access by restoration specialists to the vaulted ceiling. Crews carefully ground away the old brittle mortar between the arched limestone ribs comprising the roof structure and replaced it with new, more flexible material. All of the interior ceilings, walls and floors were cleaned, seven stained glass windows had their glass pieces removed and cleaned while the lead caning was repaired. The Red Oak wood moldings in the building’s chancel and transepts were reconditioned and the furniture was refinished. Scaffolding was erected around the exterior of the building to provide access to the Chapel’s roof. The 80 year old roof of lead coated copper panels was replaced with the same materials and the copper gutter system was completely rebuilt. In the words of Paul Manning, Director of Duke’s Office of Project Management, “When all is said and done, the best outcome for this project will be that nobody can tell what we did, inside or out.”
Romeo Guest Associates, Inc. received the Carolinas Associated General Contractors Pinnacle Award for Best Building Project – 5 Million and Over for the Duke University Chapel Restoration Project.