March 1, 2022 - 2:41 PM

Progress and Process: Conservation Work Proceeds

The Cathedral's ongoing conservation work has become a constant of life here on the Close. Over the past weeks and months, crews have erected massive scaffolds in the Crossing and embarked upon an ambitious process of inspecting, cleaning, and caring for the Guastavino tile that comprises its ceiling. Simultaneously, the pipes of the Great Organ underwent deinstallation, in preparation for their own thorough cleaning and eventual re-installation in the Cathedral.

Much progress has been made on both the Crossing and Great Organ work. Each organ pipe needed to be carefully removed from its placement high above the Great Choir, then securely wrapped and packed for shipment.

Organ pipes after deinstallation

The organ pipe removal was completed ahead of schedule, and the pieces are now on their way to the next phase, off-site.

Meanwhile, the work in the Crossing has proceeded apace as well. A platform supported by the upper level of scaffolding is being constructed, so the very highest peaks of the dome ceiling can be closely scrutinized by expert conservators.

The Cathedral has also added another piece of conservation work to the current roster. The Bronze Doors, located at the very western end of the Cathedral, are unique works of art in their own right. Each 18 foot high, six foot wide door weighs three tons--and each is a massive undertaking for conservators. Now, work is underway to restore the appearance and functionality of the Bronze Doors.

Bronze Door restoration

The Bronze Door restoration work is made possible by generous contributions from our donors:

Murray K. Stegelmann

New York Landmarks Conservancy

The Laymen’s Club of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

Gerry Charitable Trust

Building Conservation Associates, Inc.

Nat Oppenheimer and Silman Associates

Guy Maxwell and Ennead Architects

In addition to the technical and aesthetic knowledge of teams of architects, historians, craftspeople, and engineers, each of these projects requires much patience on the part of the Cathedral's visitors. We thank you, once again, for your understanding as this work continues to unfold.


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