Carthagena Chapel

Posted on Posted in Sonakrete, Troweled Acoustic Plaster

This is a chapel built in Carthagena, Ohio in 1906. The beautiful, curved shapes add to the majesty and wonder of the building. The problem: the hard curves in the sanctuary focused the sound back to the ground in what seemed to be a concentrated manner. Although the beauty was powerful, the sound reverberation was overwhelming.

To deal with the sound problem, Jay Hollmann of Hollmann Design Associates recommended 3/4” of acoustic plaster (SonaKrete) be applied to the upper, main, curved surfaces.

-Photo by Richard E Walborn

The manufacturer of the acoustic product was so impressed by this installation, they produced a special case study.

Accessing the areas was no picnic given the complexity of the various curves coming together. What you cannot see is the organ beneath the larger round window. The pipes were removed and the supports were covered in plastic.


These pictures show the progression of the scaffolding needed to access the curved areas.

The Dayton Bureau for Lath and Plaster is funded by contractors through the Dayton area Plasterer’s Union. It seeks to promote quality work through the use of trained craftsmen. If you have project details or specifications, Ken Oren is available for questions. There is no charge to architects when the project in question is offered to local bidders. The Bureau has purchased ASTM Section C and AutoCAD LT for reference and convenience in addressing design issues. If you wish to email an item for review to, your query will be promptly addressed.

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