29 October 2015
St. Louis Magazine Covers the Cathedral of the South Side
A reader was kind enough to send me this article from St. Louis Magazine. It covers the restoration efforts at one of the city's most beautiful and iconic churches. Check it out. An excerpt:
The author had the pleasure of recently touring the grand spire with Robert Shea, who offers free public tours to view the magnificent Emil Frei stained glass windows at noon every second Sunday of the month, and Chris Petersen, who is in charge of the physical plant of the church. Ascending up the cast iron stairs to the bell tower, one passes by thousands of carefully laid bricks, each placed one on top of each other over a hundred years ago. Reaching the gallery of the tower where the bells are mounted is relatively easy (unless one is terrified of heights like this author), and the visitor is treated to spectacular views of the city approximately 150 above street level.
Petersen has the daunting task of maintaining this huge masonry structure on a limited budget, and he’s come to know just about every inch of the tower. He even proceeded to climb up the steel structure that holds the four bronze bells in place, nimbly stepping from bell to bell to read the Latin inscriptions on each. Petersen also must climb up to the upper gallery of the tower for maintenance, which is reached by a vertical ladder. One of the upper wood platforms is actually suspended by steel tie rods to the roof of the tower. This author wisely believed that scaling this behemoth structure any further would be a bad idea. But seeing how the tower is assembled, with a combination of brick and steel, was a truly moving experience.