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The Story of St. Patrick's Cathedral Renovation

Some projects are worth some extra time and attention. Take, for instance, the recent renovation of the famous St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Here's how a report in New York magazine summarized the estimated $177 million restoration project:

The original construction lasted 20 years from cornerstone to the dedication in 1878 … The current restoration took another nine. More than 150 workers, directed by the architecture firm Murphy Burnham & Buttrick, made 30,000 separate interventions, planned and tracked with advanced software but executed by hand. Workers filled the interior with a city of scaffolding. Specialists climbed it to heal cracks in stained glass, fix shattered bits of tracery with invisible puzzle pieces of steel, scour soot off blackened marble, rebuild eroded filigree, replace crumbling stones, replaster ribbed vaults, and revivify wooden screens … The most impressive tasks aren't even visible: replacing the entire cooling and heating system and hooking them up to geothermal wells that have been sunk up to 2,200 feet below Manhattan's asphalt crust.

The artistry, the expertise, the craftsmanship are all top-notch. Was it worth all the effort? The article noted:

Before the restoration, sunlight struggled through darkened windows and got sucked into gray-green vaults. Now the stained glass glows, and the ceiling, restored to its original patterns of pale ocher on plaster, painted to resemble stone, spreads light on the nave below.

Possible Preaching Angles: Through his death and resurrection Jesus Christ has started the greatest restoration of all time—the redemption of human beings and the restoration of the entire cosmos in and through him.

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