About this project

The National Shrine Grotto of “Our Lady of Lourdes” is a Catholic place of prayer devoted to the Blessed Mother, Mary. This beautiful mountainside shrine features one of the oldest American replicas of the Lourdes Grotto in France built about two decades after the apparition of Mary at Lourdes in 1858. The National Shrine Grotto is a regional landmark that draws an average of about 280,000 and pilgrims from all over the world each year.

BRH was brought in to assess the condition and develop a treatment plan for the “Blessed Virgin Mary” sculpture located at National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes in Emmitsburg, MD.


The 25’ gilded bronze sculpture sits atop of the 95’ Pangborn Memorial Campanile, and was accessed using our DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone equipped with a 20-megapixel Hasselblad camera. The video & images captured showed varying degrees of deterioration to the gliding, a crack in the dome structure beneath Mary’s feet, numerous gaps in the sealant joints of the masonry, along with staining.

Our survey documented the current condition, and developed conservation treatment recommendations. BRH also provided anticipated cost estimates for budgetary planning, and provided annual maintenance guidelines to ensure that ongoing proper care is given.