OK, so now that parishioners who attended the weekend massses have had a chance to see the progress made on the new construction firsthand, we'll post some interesting photos on the blog.
Despite how the church may look now, there was great care taken to saw through the church from top to bottom in order to preserve the structure which you see still standing. The first two photos show stages in this process from the photos I've already posted.
After the western section of the church was fully detached from the eastern section, removal could be handled more quickly.
Work has been completed on the primary demolition except for sorting the debris for potential recyclying value and removing the rest. The standing section of the church will be reinforced, some of its columns will be replaced with steel and essentially reconditioned in place.
The space that will have been freed when the debris is removed will be excavated for basements and new foundations. The basement will run almost the full length of the exposed nave, and will also include space under the southern transept. As you know, the new nave will be longer, extending almost to where the temporary silt fence now stands. The basement space under the northern transept will not be built in order to contain costs.
The lighting fixtures have been put aside and will be reused in the narthex gathering space.
Looking from outside into the church toward Ward Avenue (a unique view to say the least) one can see the full set of windows which front Ward Avenue. The windows in the choir loft were typically obscured by the organ pipes, but now they can be seen to match the remaining windows on the Ward avenue facade.
By the way, their condition is worse than expected (i.e. broken and distorted panes of glass) and there is no budget item for their restoration at this time. Plans are simply to reglaze the exterior glass which now protects them from the outside elements. The windows will not be visible from the inside of the church as they will be in the sacristies, but will continue to be seen from Ward Avenue. If anyone is interested in helping to restore them, that would make a fitting memorial. Cost estimates would need to be obtained from our stained glass craftsman.
As you may remember, the part of the church which now stands will be the new sacristies and sanctuary. The tabernacle itself will be almost directly below the steeple cross. The cross will be removed for reconditioning when we have equipment which can reach high enough to remove it.