Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, May 1, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Pacifica Senior Living - Calaroga Terrace

Home : News : Nation and World
St. Patrick's Cathedral is in midst of $177 million restoration
Catholic News Service photo
Riggers stand on a scissor lift as they inspect the restored bronze doors at the main entrance at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York following their installation.
Catholic News Service photo
Riggers stand on a scissor lift as they inspect the restored bronze doors at the main entrance at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York following their installation.
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK — Tall metal scaffolding not only fills but surrounds New York's famed St. Patrick's Cathedral. What looks to the uninitiated like a zealous cleaning job is actually a painstaking $177 million restoration.

If all goes according to plan, worshippers should appreciate how magnificent the iconic church looks when the work is finished without identifying anything that is truly different or out of place.

"By and large, we're fixing things that most people won't notice," said Jeffrey Murphy, a partner in Murphy Burnham and Buttrick Architects, the firm in charge of the restoration. The trustees of St. Patrick's opted for a conservative approach, where the stone, plaster and glass are cleaned and repaired, not changed and replaced, he told Catholic News Service.

The "very high level" of the work includes thorough research into original materials and drawings to ensure that the outcome reflects both the iconic stature of the building and the not-unlimited budget, Murphy said. "The trustees are sensitive to doing the essential things and not superfluous things," he said.

But even a gentle approach unnerves some visitors to the 134-year-old landmark.

Msgr. Robert T. Ritchie, cathedral rector, said worshippers initially were upset that tradespeople worked throughout the day, even during Mass.

"I had to explain union rules and hours. To stop for all the Masses would have boosted the labor costs 20 percent. We move Masses to the Lady Chapel during work time. People are more amenable now. They still don't like it, but they understand," he said.

The essential tasks include cleaning and repointing the marble exterior, which was damaged by the acidic atmosphere of the city and exacerbated by earlier repairs. "Cleaning stops the process of the acid eating into the stone," Msgr. Ritchie said.

The stained-glass windows were in better shape than the restorers expected. They removed a protective glaze that had oxidized and become opaque. The uncovered windows were dirty but robust. The cleaning will let more natural light into the cathedral, Murphy said.

"The owner of the stained-glass company told me they are doing things here exactly the same way as in the 13th century, except with electricity," Msgr. Ritchie said.

The renovation will use environmentally sustainable technology to reduce heating and cooling costs by 30 percent, Murphy added. A compact geothermal plant with 10 wells drilled into the Manhattan bedrock is the centerpiece of the "green" effort.

Msgr. Ritchie said the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, a powerful municipal body that oversees changes to historic properties, worked closely with the restoration team. The two groups collaborated on plans for the geothermal system during an eight-year period in which the technology improved and the price dropped.

"This is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. The landmarks commission was looking for the best decisions for New York City and for us," Msgr. Ritchie said.

The renovation reached a milestone Aug. 13 and 14, when the two massive bronze front doors of the cathedral were put back into place. Each door weighs more than 9,000 pounds and Msgr. Richie said opening them once required strategic placement of a strong shoulder. Now, they seem to glide.

Gabriel Popian, vice president of G & L Popian Inc., the company commissioned to restore the doors, told CNS his son used a tiny camera "the diameter of a chopstick" connected to nine feet of tubing to perform an endoscopic examination of the doors to check for cracks in the welded internal frame.

Popian said he "restored the doors practically from the inside out" and replaced the hinges and mounting elements with stainless steel so they move with ease.

The panel doors are embellished with statues of saints and Catholic New Yorkers recognized for their holiness. They get a lot of attention and even abuse, Popian said. "They were vandalized with graffiti and painted over with a Benjamin Moore brown faux finish, but we brought them back to their former glory," he said

Popian's effort included research to identify, re-sculpt and cast the missing head of the staff held by the statue of St. Patrick himself.

The campaign to fund the restoration has raised more than $70 million, reported Kate Monahan, assistant communications director for the Archdiocese of New York. When he announced the restoration on St. Patrick's Day 2012, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York said $45 million had been raised.

Murphy said the first two major phases of the project will be completed by June 2014. Two more phases are envisioned, but will depend on the success of fundraising, Monahan said.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved