Capital Campaign & Construction Project

building access-new

Read on to learn what changes are in store on the Saint Mark’s campus in the coming months as construction begins on the Capital Campaign project. Learn more about the Capital Campaign here.

Construction on Saint Mark’s Cathedral began in 1928, but was halted after the stock market crash of 1929, and never fully completed. The enormous concrete walls were never meant to be exposed to the elements, and the cheap depression-era glass windows were not meant to be permanent. In 2012, chunks of concrete began to break away from the exterior walls, posing a safety risk, and it became urgent for Saint Mark’s Cathedral to address the deteriorating state of the walls and windows.

Beginning in mid-April 2017, Saint Mark’s will undertake a major construction project to clad the exterior walls of the cathedral in limestone and replace all of the windows with new energy-efficient models, designed to match the old windows in style and color. Saint Mark’s is working with Olson Kundig Architects on design and Turner Construction Company for the construction. Spectrum Development Solutions is handling project management.

This phase of construction, scheduled to run through mid-December 2017, is designed to secure the cathedral’s structural integrity and to improve accessibility. In addition to sealing and cladding the exterior of the building in stone and replacing the windows with new insulated glass, the project also includes repairing the roof, creating a more inviting east façade and entry, and installing an elevator to make the building more accessible to all.

About the Capital Campaign

Saint Mark’s began a capital campaign for this project in fall 2014, and has raised almost $8 million to date. Major donors include The Cathedral Foundation of the Diocese of Olympia, and The Norcliffe Foundation, as well as many generous individuals. The cathedral still seeks donations of all sizes, which may be made online at

Project Timeline, Dates and Hours


We will lose access to some parking spaces during construction, specifically those spaces which are adjacent to the north and south walls of the cathedral. We have told our tenants in the St. Nicholas Building (Gage and Brightwater schools) that they will not be able to use the south side parking lot during the construction period, so there should be adequate parking for parishioners in the south lot.

site plan

(Click here to view full size)

Construction Details

Have a question about the construction project? You can contact Turner directly at

Construction will proceed from North (Zone 1) to East (Zone 2) to South (Zone 3), although work will begin on the south side Elevator addition in May. To quote from the Turner documents, “Using a Fraco hydraulic scaffolding system, the sequence will progress in lifts. Each vertical section will be complete in succession as we move around the building. Each elevation will take about 90 days to complete. This creates a nice smooth flow of trades that is safe and efficient. Simultaneously, work will begin on the elevator addition. New foundations and exterior structure will be complete by the time that exterior cladding activities have reached the South elevation. Interior finishes and elevator installation will occur in the final phases of the job.”

In other words, exterior and interior scaffolding will go up in May on the north side, and then be sequenced around the building to the east and finally to the south, as work proceeds. The limestone will not start arriving until June 28, so the first few months will focus on site clearing and demolition, and the installation of windows on the north side, as well as excavation for the elevator addition on the south side.