Posted May 8, 2008

THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE MAIN ALTAR IS UNDERWAY

The meticulous, piece-by-piece assembly of the main altar is proceeding rapidly. The contractor estimates that the main altar will be complete by the middle of May. Then the crew begins work on the side altars.

The reassembly takes a skillful and experienced crew of specialists. Each piece of marble (of which there are hundreds of elements) is engraved with an identifying numeral that was done at the time that the altar was manufactured. We estimate that this was well over a century ago. The crew begins with numeral-piece #1 which is on the left side of the bottom step and continues linearly across the bottom in a circular pattern until the first row of steps is complete. Then the numbering continues on the second step, all the way to the top of the altar. The side altars are numbered by using a series of 200s and 300s, to identify which altar the pieces belong. It's much like a jigsaw puzzle.

The altar construction begins (see photo below) with a layer of cement cinder blocks. The sheets of marble are attached to these blocks with brass tubing. The links are embedded in the marble and then threaded through holes that are drilled in the concrete blocks. When the altar was disassembled in the Boston, MA church from which it came, this inner structure was made of brick. However the use of modern cinder blocks allows for a more precise and quicker assembly.




Posted May 8, 2008

PAINTING ALONG THE SIDES OF THE CHURCH CONTINUES.

The photo below shows how the "diapering" of the undersides of the arches looks. The "diapering" consists of sheets of printed canvas that make a beautiful accent to the top of the columns along both sides of the church.


To view previous photos, click here...