Unity Temple

875 Lake Street, Oak Park, Illinois

Façade Restoration

8Unity Temple is a Unitarian Universalist church in Oak Park, Illinois. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, many modern architects believe the temple to be the first modern building in the world. Wright chose steel- reinforced concrete as the temple’s main building material. The structure, officially dedicated on September 26, 1909, has been a United States National Historic Landmark since 1971.

In 1961, Unity Temple underwent its first restoration. The restoration, performed by another contractor, attempted to fix cracks and spalls with a bonding agent and concrete mix. When completed, the restored walls did not resemble Unity Temple’s original facade.

William Hach and Associates, Inc. (WHA) performed a major renovation 13 years later. WHA used 300,000 pounds of sandblasting grit to prepare and finish Unity Temple’s 22,000 square feet of concrete surface, followed by a pneumatically applied pea gravel concrete coating (shotcrete). The restored concrete is indistinguishable from the original surface of the historic landmark.


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