Chapel at Duke University

Chapel at Duke University

Job: Chapel Renovation at Duke University Scaffolding Rental
Location: Durham, NC
Building: Historic Duke Chapel on the campus of Duke University
Equipment Used: Systems scaffold, frame scaffold, material hoist, and stair towers
Need for Equipment: Restoration of roof, ceiling, and stained-glass windows

Case Study

When James B. Duke asked that a “great towering church” be constructed upon the university’s expansion in 1924, he may not have even imagined a structure as grand as the one that currently sits in the center of Duke’s campus. 

The 210-foot building, known as Duke Chapel, was the first building planned for the new campus, and the last one to be constructed, with the final structure unveiled in 1932. 

The architects entrusted with the expansion of the university were Horace Trumbauer and his chief designer Julian Abelem, one of America’s first black architects. When it came to the Duke Chapel, they were inspired by the English Gothic style. Visitors still marvel at its incredible details, large stones, vaults, and pointed arches. 

For almost a century, the Duke Chapel has been the chosen venue for orientations, graduations, inaugurations, concerts, tours, weddings, and memorials; as well as for daily reflection for students. Today, the chapel is still one of the tallest buildings in Durham County, and seats around 1,800 people. It is both a sanctuary and a vibrant place of connection for all, and welcomes those of every faith. 

The Challenge

When it came time to complete a restoration of the roof, ceiling, and some of the stained glass windows, Duke University turned to Associated Scaffolding to support the restoration crew. 

The impressive height of the Chapel presented a challenge, as well as the age and detail of the structure itself. We needed a scaffolding solution that would allow the crew access to the roof at more than 200 feet, keep them safe at that height, but that would not damage or interfere with the integrity of the architecture. 

The scaffolding needed to present minimal disruption as well, as students and faculty on campus still needed to walk past and around the Chapel at the center of campus.

The Solution: Systems Scaffold

To complete the restoration, Associated Scaffolding turned to Systems Scaffolding for a made-to-order solution. 

This scaffolding is made up of horizontal and vertical poles and boards, connected by joints to custom fit. The ability to customize each and every component allowed us to take into account the unique architectural features of the Chapel’s Gothic style, and angled support beams allowed us to create a scaffold that could safely allow the crew access to the high ceilings. 

Systems Scaffolding Rental & Sales

Associated Scaffoldings can help you create a systems scaffolding structure perfect for your unique project. 

The process of renting or buying scaffolding is simple:

  1. Discuss your project with our team to create your custom design. Once that is created, we will provide a quote.
  2. When it comes time to complete the project, Associated Scaffolding will deliver the pieces straight to the site, and complete the setup.
  3. Once the project is finished, we arrive at the scheduled time, dismantle the scaffolding, and remove it. 

Contact Associated Scaffolding Rentals & Sales

As the leading provider of scaffolding rental and scaffolding sales in the region, Associated Scaffolding has the solutions you’re looking for. Our services include providing new and used scaffolding for sale and scaffolding rental, as well as consultations, safety guidance, and more. To learn more about our sales and scaffolding rental in Durham, call us at 1-800-768-2655 or contact us to request a quote. 

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