Sacred Heart Schools, 3115 Lexington Road, has reopened its Chapel of the Immaculate Conception to the public following an extensive, more than $1 million renovation.
The 106-year-old Louisville landmark was built as part of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville’s original Motherhouse. The Chapel also served students and alumni for decades on the 40-acre campus.
“The Chapel is one of the most important and sacred spaces on our campus,” said Dr. Karen McNay, president of Sacred Heart Schools, in a news release. “The Ursuline Sisters entrusted us with this cherished part of their campus, and we embarked on the restoration project to ensure the Chapel will endure for another 100 years. The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception provides a sacred space on our campus for mass, prayer, and retreats, and a place to experience our four core values.”
Renovations began in November 2022 and included detailed painting throughout, including the interior of the six-story chapel dome. Project costs were funded by donors.
Sacred Heart Academy alumnae Amy Montgomery Bergeron (SHA ’94) and Anna Cristofoli Tatman (SHA ’78) were tapped to complete the renovation. Bergeron owns Whitehouse Residential & Commercial Painting and was named lead project manager for the renovation. Tatman, of Rosa Mosaics & Tile Company, served as the flooring contractor.
“Our company has worked on campus for years,” Bergeron said in the release, “I was honored to be asked to oversee this important project. I’ve owned Whitehouse Residential & Commercial Painting for over 20 years, and we’ve accomplished many impressive jobs, but this project is near and dear to my heart.
“Our team started at the top of the dome and worked down one entire side, then we took down the scaffolding, moved the pews again, and started the process all over again for the opposite side of the dome."
You can see photos of the finished work in the gallery below.
Other upgrades included removing and rebuilding the existing flooring, updating electrical systems, adding LED lighting for the first time to uplight the dome, enhancing the sound system, and rewiring and restoring the sconces throughout the building to their original brass finishes. Additionally, the lower-level library that supports the Chapel was updated.
Tatman and her team at Rosa Mosaics & Tile Co. removed three layers of flooring down to the original wood flooring and engineers improved the joists supporting the structure, some of which had sagged and split over decades.
“Once this work was completed, we replaced many of the wooden subfloor panels, re-built the lower altar platform and formed the wood structures to support the mechanical units around the perimeter of the chapel,” said Tatman, adding, “Our team installed a 2” thick mortar bed and laid the 24” x 24” Italian White Carrara marble floor panels with Verdi Alpi marble accents to highlight the main aisle way leading to the altar. The green marble was chosen to connect with the green mosaic tile color in the floor mosaic in the outer concourse around the main chapel.”