United States Naval Academy Chapel


Annapolis, MD


Department of the Navy


Department of the Navy

Project Type:

Government, Historic


15 months


14000 SF

Project Overview

This project included the phased historic renovation of the main chapel at the United States Naval Academy. The Rotunda was constructed in 1908; the Nave was later added in 1938. This historic renovation was performed in two phases to allow either the Nave or Rotunda to remain operational at all times for Sunday services, weddings, funerals, and other special events.

Project Goals

The intent of the renovations were to return the historic structure back to the architect’s original intent. Prior to commencement of the work, extreme care was taken to protect the multi-million dollar pipe organs, sconces, status, and various historical emblems. A 55’ temporary wall was erected to separate the Nave from the Rotunda.

Project Execution

Tuckman-Barbee repaired water-damaged plaster walls, ornamental plaster, and added a three-step glaze to apply faux finish by artisans to replicate limestone. We refinished over 200 original pews and pew plaques, replaced kneeler pads and cushions. Additional work included painting of metal hand rails including gold leafing of the medallions, gold leafing behind the statue of Christ, refinishing the original hardwood flooring, refinishing the marble base, replacement of carpeting, refinishing of all original wood doors and replacement and/or repair of original hardware. It was determined that the existing wood flooring in the Rotunda was too damaged for refinishing and was removed and replaced with Antique Heart Pine reclaimed from a building of the same era as the original flooring.