The Cathedral is one of Sacramento’s most significant historic structures, built in the period from 1886 to 1889 at an estimated cost of $250,000. Vanir and a team of expert consultants were selected for the conditions assessment consisting of four basic elements: 1) the structural and seismic analysis, which focused on the basic structure of the building as well as the dome and the three tall towers; 2) the water intrusion problems which included all aspects of roof, wall, and basement leaking; 3) the liturgical assessment which covered such things as how well the building served its religious needs; and 4) functional requirements which included all utilities, acoustics, lighting, etc. In addition, Vanir prepared “diagrammatic drawings” of the building (plans, sections and elevations) which became the only documentation of architectural aspects of the building.
Safety was a constant concern as the construction required more than 200,000 man-hours to complete with eighty percent of the work performed on scaffolding up to 135 feet high. However, the project recorded zero lost time for accidents and received zero OSHA violations.