The preservation project includes caulking cracks and replacing deteriorated mortar.
“All this is to keep water out,” Scott Christy, owner of Quality Restoration which is completing the project, said.
If water freezes inside cracks in the structure, it can cause damage, Christy said.
Christy said he used low pressure and mild detergents to clean the structure inside and out to restore the look of the marble.
He estimated the project was about a week and a half away from completion.
This is the first time in at least 20 years any work has been done on the structure, according to former junior warden Jeff Sellins, who oversaw planning and maintenance for the church when the project started.
Sellins said the mausoleum is important to the church because without it the church may never have been built
On Oct. 18, 1871, Nina Craigmiles was riding in a carriage with her grandfather, according to Sellins. While the carriage was crossing some railroad tracks, it was hid by a train and the 7-year-old died. Her father had the church and mausoleum built because there were no Episcopal churches in Cleveland at the time.
Nina’s body was then placed in a sarcophagus inside the structure.
Her parents and an unnamed infant son, as well as the mother’s second husband were later buried in the structure, according to Sellins.
Sellins said the church was named St. Luke’s because the tragic accident happened on the Episcopal holiday of St. Luke’s Day.
The mausoleum was built by an Italian sculptor out of Carrara Italian marble, Sellins said. When sunlight hits the marble at the correct angle, it gives the marble a pink tint.