Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc.

Charleston, South Carolina

In preparation for the 200th anniversary of the diocese of Charleston, a committee was formed to evaluate how best to prepare the 1890 cathedral for the celebration. The dramatic Gothic lines provide natural inspiration for a creative new decorative scheme based upon its traditional architecture.
Although the cathedral is monumental, its beauty is also evident in the details. The ornate stencil monogram, surrounded by a crown of thorns, followed by a ring of 40 quatrefoils representing the temptations of Christ. A Greek cross completes the pattern. The side shrines contain a modified version of this stencil but feature monograms for the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. Other subtle patterns depict the scallop shell for St. John the Baptist, the Trinity knot, and the fleur-de-lis, significant to the history and the people of Charleston.

In the apse, the Lamb of God is depicted inside a trefoil design, representing the Holy Trinity. The circular border features acanthus leaves growing from the center, representing of the spread of Christ’s teachings. The banner reads “Ecce Agnus Dei” or “Behold the Lamb of God” as John the Baptist said in proclamation of Jesus coming to be baptized. The flag of St. George represents the victory of life after death.

Jury Comments

This project takes the existing architecture and ornament and achieves a complete transformation with just paint and decoration. It is not the same interior, as it uses decoration and depth of color to make a transcendent interior. It is very powerful.

Project Team Members

Rick Statz, Senior Project Director
Bryon Roesselet, Lead Artist
Eileen Grogan, Historic Preservation Specialist
John McClendon, CSS Decorator Foreman
Zach Rueter, Interior Designer
Sean McClendon, CSS Decorator
Kim Monnette, CSS Decorator

Project Consultants

Hightower Construction, General Contractor
Rhino Demolition & Environmental Services, Hazardous Material Abatement Contractor
Brand Safeway, Scaffold Systems
Gatch Electrical Contractors, Inc., Electrical Contractor
LMH Lighting, LLC, Lighting Design / Consultant
GEL Engineering, Hazardous Material Testing