McPherson Design Group logo
  • Basilica of St. Mary's Immaculate

    Basilica of St. Mary's Immaculate

  • Basilica of St. Mary's 2

    Basilica of St. Mary's 2

Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception

(circa 1858)

The Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception is located in downtown Norfolk and is considered the oldest parish community in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.  It is often referred to as “The Mother Church of Tidewater Virginia”.  The parish came into existence in 1791 as St. Patrick’s Church, which is twenty-nine years prior to the development of the institution of the Richmond Diocese.  The original Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception building was constructed in 1842, but was destroyed by fire in 1856.  The current church building was then constructed in 1858.  Having previously completed several small projects for the church in the mid-2000’s, McPherson Design Group was contacted by the church in 2017 to investigate deterioration that had been identified in some of the facia boards on the outside of the building.

Our company had to first provide shoring for the low roof, in order to complete our investigation and also to give the general contractor room to complete their eventual construction.  Our investigation was completed without causing any demolition to the historic structure and it was determined that extensive termite damage existed throughout large areas of the building.  In particular, the damage was prevalent throughout the roof framing and steeple on both the North and South sides of the building.  McPherson Design Group worked with the Diocese of Richmond to develop repair documents in order to salvage the building.  As of April of 2018, the repairs to the South side of the structure had been completed and the repairs to the North side were underway.  McPherson Design Group is providing Construction Administration for this project as well.