Mick Rich Contractors Inc., an Albuquerque-based commercial building contractor, has received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its “soft wall” anchor.

In 2007, the parish of San Felipe de Neri Church selected Mick Rich to renovate and restore its 250-year-old building.

During the project, Mick Rich found the sanctuary’s 150-year-old altar was separating from the adobe wall. The parish requested the altar be fixed without compromising the existing wall. In order to avoid changes to the existing wall, Mick Rich developed a unique solution by designing and fabricating an anchor that holds the altar to the adobe wall without the use components that would be visible to church visitors.

The new “soft wall” anchor developed by Mick Rich uses “butterflies” to hold anchors in place, rather than a large metal plate attached with a nut.