The Church on Stilts

by Dirk J. Dressel, (M.ASCE), Quinn Dressel Associates, Montreal,
Joseph Gallaccio, (M.ASCE), Quinn Dressel Associates,
Shahbaz Mavaddat, (M.ASCE), Quinn Dressel Associates,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 5, Pg. 72-74

Document Type: Feature article


Christ Church Cathedral is an Anglican church situated in the heart of downtown Montreal. Constructed in 1859, it is a perfect example of English neogothic architecture, characterized by stone load bearing walls and columns, a central tower with a spire rising 220 ft above the main church floor, and stained glass windows. In order to use the space below the church as an integral part of a retail development, a method of transferring the existing foundation loads to new foundations was developed. Weighing about 18,000 tons and spread over some 6,000 sq ft, the entire church structure, including the tower and spire, was underpinned by means of post-tensioned concrete beams and founded on new caissons. It was essential that the Cathedral remain operational during the entire period of construction.

Subject Headings: Religious buildings

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