ACR Restores Historic Church After Fire

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Illinois/Wisconsin Restoration Company Saves Precious Frescoes from Smoke Damage

ACR, Inc. proudly announces the completion of a fire damage restoration at a well-known church in Lake County, IL. New Gracanica Church is an impressive architectural replica of the old Gracanica of Kosovo, but is eighteen percent larger than the one built in 1321 in Serbia.

The church is adorned thoroughly with Byzantine style frescoes painted by world-renown iconographer Fr. Theodore Jurewicz and took three years to complete. In addition to the frescoes, New Gracanica Church is rich with numerous intricate wooden carvings, all of which were affected by the fire, as well as decades of soot accumulation from candles burning. The challenges facing ACR in tackling this unusually delicate restoration included the risk of the cleaning process further damaging the frescoes, as well as the enormity of scale. A scaffold was built reaching about seven stories up to access the central dome, and scissor lifts were used to reach the high arches and barrel vaults.

"ACR has been doing restoration work for church losses for over 26 years, but we've never seen anything quite like New Gracanica. The beauty of the frescoes was overwhelming and it was quite an honor for ACR to be chosen to complete the restorative cleaning," remarked Jim O'Callaghan, Managing Director of ACR. "The results were far beyond expectation and served to save a staggering amount of money on that damage claim. The church leadership, including the Rt. Rev. Bishop Longin who serves as the Bishop of the New Gracanica and the Midwestern American Diocese, were very gracious hosts and were genuinely interested in our processes and progress."

O'Callaghan also noted that although this was among the most challenging fire damage restorations in which ACR has been dispatched, it was equally among the most rewarding in terms of satisfaction and pride.

A detailed Case Study can be reviewed at http://www.acrrestores.com/pdfs/ACR%20Case%20Study_Serbian%20Church_FIRE.pdf

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Joel Kaufman
ACR, Inc.
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