Holy Cross Chapel Restoration Project

Holy Cross Chapel Restoration Project

The Historic Holy Cross Chapel is a beautiful, historic building that provides an interfaith sanctuary of solitude and comfort for patients, families, staff, visitors, and friends. Construction began in 1901 and dedicated in April 14, 1904

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The chapel was created as part of the Holy Cross Hospital, first established in 1875 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross—a prominent Roman Catholic women’s religious order that founded schools, hospitals, charities and other institutions in Utah during the 19th century. In 1976, the chapel was named to the state historic registry.

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The chapel now serves as a nondenominational interfaith sanctuary. For more than 100 years, the chapel has contributed to the life of the city and serves as one of only two 19th century Catholic churches remaining in the downtown Salt Lake area.

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Preserving Local Heritage

The chapel is an important landmark and historical site in Salt Lake City and the Catholic community in Utah and around the world. The chapel is one of the most aesthetically beautiful ecclesiastical structures in the state and one of the most historically important ones in the history of the Catholic diocese, bringing an important foundation for religion, education and medical care to the American West.

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The Historic Holy Cross Chapel was designed by the architect Carl M. Neuhausen, who was also the architect of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, the Thomas Kearns mansion and the St. Ann Orphanage. The style of the building strongly resembles that of its sister structure, the Cathedral, making a restoration to its original design important for modern day and future generations in understanding a piece of their own beginnings.

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 Our beloved neighborhood treasure is in need of repair. To aid in this cause the Holy Cross Chapel Foundation has been formed.

Planned renovations to the Chapel include restoring the exterior architecture (waterproofing the foundation wall and belfry, masonry repair and paint removal and door replacement to match original architecture, windows, and art glass restoration). Plans also include restoring interior architecture such as refinishing the original wood flooring, walls and ceiling repair, wall mural restoration, lighting, plumbing, electrical and earthquake proofing.

To restore its historical integrity, the chapel needs the following renovations:

Exterior Architecture

  • Waterproof foundation wall and belfry
  • Masonry repair and paint removal
  • Roofing, parapet walls and roof accessories
  • Wood trim restored or replaced
  • Door replacement to match original architecture


  • Storm sashes replacement
  • Art glass restoration

Interior Architecture

  • Refinish original wood flooring
  • Walls and ceiling repair
  • Wall mural restoration
  • Wood trim restored or replaced
  • Door replacement to match original architecture
  • Pews repaired and refinished
  • Hardware replacement
  • Lighting fixtures replaced to replicate originals
  • Update accessibility and safety features, including earthquake proofing
  • Update plumbing
  • Update electrical work


Below is a brief summary of the recommended seismic improvements:

  • Increase the width of the expansion joint between the chapel and the hospital
  • Improve chapel balcony attachment to exterior walls
  • Epoxy inject all cracks in masonry walls larger than 1/8”
  • Reinforce first floor masonry walls with plywood shear walls or fiber reinforced polymer sheets
  • Improve floor and roof attachments to exterior walls
  • Overlay existing floor and roof sheathing with plywood
  • Tie multiple withes of masonry together with helical wall ties
  • Seismically brace building contents and furnishings
  • Replace or seismically brace mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system


Esther is a Chair of the East Central Community Council.

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East Central Chair – who has written posts on East Central Community Council.

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