News & Archives
Jan 23, 2008
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Vincennes, IN - St. Francis Xavier Cathedral was built in 1826, making it the oldest church in Indiana. Over the years, the decorative scheme was modified a number of times, each time further masking its original structure and splendor. Restoration challenges included peeling canvas walls, buckling ceilings and shifting wood lath and coffers. After a thorough historic paint investigation and the completion of all structural repairs, artists began on the decorative elements. Interior walls were painted with a faux stone finish. Artists wood-grained the lower wainscot panels to replicate the original design. The columns were marbleized and capitals were gilded with 23 kt gold. The project also included the restoration of the 1904 altar, and conservation of the murals and Stations of the Cross. The tradition and original charm of Indiana's oldest church has been renewed for future generations.