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St. Dominic’s Church is San Francisco was built in the 20’s, and has been undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation since 1992.  Michael Rossi, a parishioner and the overseer of renovations for the past few years, decided Appleby Stone Restoration was his best choice for honing and polishing of the limestone and marble aisles.  What a wise man!

We are proud to be involved in the restoration of this historic church, located at 2390 Bush St. in San Francisco’s lower Pacific Heights.  After reading Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and learning a little about how the old European churches were built, it’s an honor to be part of the restoration of something so historical.  As a side note, if you haven’t read Pillars of the Earth, grab a copy now.  It reads like a historical romance novel, following Tom Builder’s travails and Prior Philip’s determination to get his church built.  Author Ken Follett is so masterful with his pen (or word processor) that you feel like you’re watching the Kingsbridge cathedral being built before your eyes.

We will be working here at St. Dominic’s Roman Catholic church on and off through the first part of 2011.  Michael, in his infinite wisdom, is doing the renovation in sections, removing pews and having them sanded and recoated.  While the pews are out, Appleby is honing and polishing the limestone and marble (the results can be seen in attached pics) and the hardwood is being sanded and redone as well.

The earthquake retrofit has been completed and the exterior has been gone over to fill mortar voids.  The stained-glass windows have been removed and rebuilt.  According to Michael, all the glass pieces were numbered, then the leading redone, then the entire large mosaics replaced.  The result is stunning.

Les Bloch

The wood doors are all European oak hand carved in Germany.  The detail is amazing—intricate, with a consistent curved leaf theme running through the carvings, plaster, balustrades, corbels and internal cupolas, There are many statues.  Some are plaster, and some are carved marble or alabaster.

I highly recommend that anyone with an appreciation for architecture, a love of churches or just a curiosity of these great structures come to the city and take a look.  The doors are always open, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.  Even though the ceiling soars to 90 feet, don’t forget to look at Appleby’s work on the floors!