Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, DC

The method was a masterpiece of modern technology, said Baird M. Smith of Quinn Evans Architects, a preservation specialist with offices in Washington and Ann Arbor, Mich. Smith started with an aerial photograph of Calvary taken in the mid-1860s by Civil War photographer Matthew Brady, probably from a hot-air balloon.

The image was digitally enhanced and divided into 15 sections that could be printed full size. These sections were posted on the walls of the Quinn Evans office in Washington, then traced by hand. The specifications were transferred to computer-assisted design software, and a computer model was sent to Salt Lake City.

Our computers connected to a router, carved large chunks of wood into 56 five- to eight-foot sections. These wood replicas were used to create fiber glass molds into which the fiber glass construction material was poured. The sections were then held attached to a structural aluminum frame with aluminum plates and stainless steel screws.

The 60-foot replica was fabricated over five months at our shop in Salt Lake City, where hundreds of spires for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the world have been fabricated.

General Contractor:  Clark Construction

Architect:  Quinn Evans Architects