December 3, 2017

It’s all in the details. 

As our restoration of the Cathedral front facade moves toward completion, the final elements are coming together so beautifully.   Here are some highlights:

●  In April, we evaluated our options with using old stone, new stone or a combination of both.  We settled on replacing the black granite pillars with limestone (at a savings of $200,000) and reusing the original limestone words and the top granite with the zig-zag pattern.   

I have to say, I was a bit nervous about whether we’d made the right choices, but once the whole front façade was exposed and power washed, it became apparent that the old and the new meld together organically.  We have received lots of positive feedback with most saying they like the new look better and feel it’s more welcoming.

●  That power washing was quite a process.  We had to bring in a big lift to reach the top of the Cathedral—more than 80 feet up.   You could see decades of dirt running off the stone.  Check out the before and after photos at right.

●  We are in the middle of installing lighting.  The portico is lit already and this week we should have up-lighting for the pillars themselves.  By Christmas we should have the entire front façade washed with warm light. 

●  You may have noticed that the white marble statues of Mary and Joseph have disappeared from the front lawn.  Last week they went back to our stone studio to be cleaned and refurbished.  Turns out they’d been there before.  As they were preparing to move the statues, the crew from Daprato Rigali noticed a familiar signature. The statues were created by the grandfather of the current owners.

The statues will come back to us this week and will be place together on the south side of the plaza.  This will be a lovely addition to the area.

●  We’ve added benches. We are having benches made with some of the leftover black granite slabs….so they will be both a practical addition and a nice nod to our history.

I’ll stop writing now to make more space for photos….but even better, take a minute to look for yourself.  To get the full perspective of the improvements, stand across the street. 

Eileen Hooks Gutierrez
Director of Development and Projects Liaison
straysdevelopment@yahoo.com, 815-722-6653 extension 242

P.S.  Almost forgot—we need ushers!  Please consider helping out for Christmas or even joining the Mass time team on a regular basis.  All are welcome to serve.  Let me know if you can help!

 

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